When science proved chocolate’s health benefits, I thought to myself: It doesn’t really matter; I would be eating chocolate anyway. Chocolates have always been my go-to comfort food on especially sad, Dementor-ridden days—J.K. Rowling sure got that right in her Harry Potter series. Thanks to all the excellent marketing and packaging, these cocoa wonders have now been integrated into mainstream Indian culture as a delicious alternative to traditional Indian mithai during festivals like Diwali, Christmas, and Eid. Not only are they a wonderland for the palate, they appeal to both the young and the old alike. Whether you intend to buy chocolate for Diwali gifting or just to eat it yourself while binge-watching Netflix, it are the perfect way to create a “shubh avsar.” This year, skip the the mundane and try a different approach—artisan chocolates. The latter have carved a significant niche in the festival gifting market, thanks to the extraordinary and unique options on offer. Want a taste of true luxury this Diwali? Here are a few handcrafted wonders to try in Mumbai. Trust me, you won’t be going back to mass-produced varieties anytime soon:
5. Harsh Chocolates
Forest Gump famously declared, “Life is like a box of chocolates.” With Harsh Chocolates, you know exactly what you are getting and love it. Established in 2001 by Ankita and Anuja Jain, Harsh Chocolates revel in creating customised handcrafted treats like hot chocolate sticks in masala milk and cinnamon flavours, and biscuit chocolate (Marie Biscuits with a chocolatey twist). You can buy a box from Harsh Chocolates for as little as Rs. 150.
Contact: +91 9867 08 0093 | +91 9920 99 6067 | firstname.lastname@example.org
4. Bean Therapy
Founded by chocolatier Sanjay Solomon, Bean Therapy specialises in chocolates made with the most exotic ingredients—think dark Belgian Callebaut, Gutur’s Teja chillies, Kashmiri Kahwa green tea, Himalayan Pink salt, mangoes, black pepper and what have you. The chilli chocolate is my absolute favourite; the fiery Teja chillies complement the rich sweetness of the chocolate beautifully. Get an 80gm bar upwards of Rs. 260.
Contact: +91 9029071802 | email@example.com
Master chocolatier Toshin Shetty brings the expertise he honed at London’s Le Cordon Bleu to this part of the globe. His posh creations not only satisfy your cravings but also give your inner chocoholic something to fantasise about. I couldn’t make a better case for Toshin than the video on the store’s website does. Pick assorted chocolate boxes of 9 for Rs. 600, and 16 for Rs. 1000. These artisan chocolates are true masterpieces.
Contact: +91 22 67982298 | firstname.lastname@example.org
2. Vivanda Chocolate Co.
Vivanda offers a selection of magical chocolate gifts that are ideal for Diwali. Sample their dark ganache cakes and pralines as well as the 80 per cent single-origin dark bar, a dark chocolate lover’s wet dream. They even have a guide to help you enjoy the experience like a true connoisseur. Get your hands on their 40gm bars for as little as Rs. 160.
Contact: +91 70229 73024 | +91 70225 47497 | email@example.com
1. Bar Code
Choose the exotic bars from Bar Code and you will have something in common with national heads like Barack Obama, Queen Rania of Jordan, Vladimir Putin, and Nicolas Sarkozy. Expert chocolatier Varun Inamdar is set to create a set of innovative volumes of chocolate bars showcasing the best of every Indian state. From the Dalle chillies and black cardamom bar from Sikkim to the fenugreek seeds and Jonavalasa Sapotas-infused bar from Gujarat, Inamdar’s labour of love is evident. Volume 1 (Sikkim, Gujarat, Tamil Nadu, Punjab, Jharkhand, Punjab, and Andhra Pradesh) is out and priced at Rs. 499.
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This festival of lights, shine the spotlight on artisan chocolate gifting. You’ll be sure to become your family’s Willy Wonka!