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 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 see 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. These brands are also available on Cocoatrait, a fine chocolate platform by Nitin Chordia. Thus it is interesting that the newest brand on Cocoatrait is also in the French tradition. Hailing from Vietnam, Marou is artisanal, single origin 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 vibrant packaging. The chocolatiers are fans of dark chocolate and local ingredients, so look out for the full-bodied Tien Giang (70 per cent), the spicy and earthy Dan Lak (70 per cent), the aromatic Ba Ria (76 per cent) and others.
Priced at Rs 790. Details: Cocoatrait.com
— Team Indulge