Take stock of the new collection of single origin bean to bar chocolate from Vietnam
ARTISANAL chocolate is no longer a strange sight in our city, with bean to bar brands like Mason & Co (from Auroville) and Earth Loaf (Mysore) available in select gourmet and organic stores. Created with a deep passion, from beans painstakingly sourced from farmers in Kerala, the organic chocolate come with almonds and sea salt smoked over cacao husks, or in flavours like masala chai. Orange and dark chocolate is a popular flavour at Mason & Co. The precious slabs are often faintly bitter and an acquired taste, but are quick to find converts. It explains why workshops by UK-based chocolatiers David Belo and Angelika Anagnostou (Earth Loaf) in Bengaluru are well-attended, or why tourists track down Jane Mason at her factory in Auroville for a tasting.
They are both expat couples who came to India and discovered their alternative chocolate careers here. Thus it is interesting that the newest brand on Cocoatrait is also in the French tradition. Hailing from Vietnam, Marou is artisanal, single origin delicious chocolate made near Ho Chi Minh City, and was featured in The New York Times only last month. The two Frenchmen behind the brand, Samuel Maruta (former schoolteacher), and Vincent Mourous (an advertising professional), sure know what they are about. There are five varieties on Cocoatrait for now, and they come in delighfully-designed packaging. Our favourite is the full-bodied Tien Giang (70 per cent). Priced at Rs 790.
Nitin Chordia, founder of Chennai-based Cocoatrait, a chocolate tasting club, has come a long way from his first stint with Belgian chocolates. His online store for fine chocolate delivers across the country, and now retails the brands Bean Therapy, Earthloaf and Mason & Co. Workshops are also organised with artisanal and single origin chocolate from India, Ghana, etc. A subscription box feature is also available.
— Team Indulge