I like my chocolate like I like my coffee: dark, broody and moody. As with most things in my life, it's straight up dark chocolate or nothing. Milk and (the trying so hard to pass off as chocolate impostor aka) white chocolate do nothing for me - the strange bitter aftertaste makes me want to wash my mouth with OJ.
I was introduced to the wondrous down-a-rabbit-hole world of dark chocolate with flavour bombs from the hipster alleys of Brooklyn (Hello, Mast Brothers!) and crevices of California (Dick Taylor, *waves*) to the depths of South America by my friend, Prem. He routinely spoils me with most things sublime and delicious - barleywine, coffee from The City by the Bay, postcards from the streets of NYC and Jacaranda from Mexico.
Which makes All Things Chocolate such a special discovery: Artisanal chocolate from India that tastes as good as it looks. Intense explosions-in-the-mouth dark chocolate, imagined and concocted in Jaipur, designed in Gurgaon and magically at my door in Bangalore. The flavours are sublime, the packaging poetic and all of it being available at the click of a button will make it hard to write-off as a one-time indulgence.
Here's what I know about the brains behind AllThings: School-friends Tejasvi Chandela and Kuhu Kochar have this unique gift of drawing you in with the fun & whimsical packaging and keeping you hooked with the chocolate. Pastry Chef Tejasvi weaves magic with cocoa sourced from Madagascar, Ghana, San Domingo, and Ecuador infused with all things delectable - whiskey, passion fruit, habanero chillies, champagne! Communication Designer Kuhu makes collectible packaging that is equal parts nostalgia, art, whimsy and Rorschach test (what do you see vs what I see?).
I kicked off chocolate season - known as Autumn/Fall by the delicious-challenged - with this beaut called Tropical which is a passion fruit ganache sandwiched between dark chocolate. I knew I couldn't have made a better hygge-leaning choice this Saturday in Bangalore: The day is cold, you know it's fall somewhere, summer is a lover who has to take leave. Hush, the African tulips are here!
Pfizer discovered a molecule called Calone 1951 (watermelon ketone) in 1966. It's single-handedly responsible for aquatic scents - think marine, watermelony, ozoney scents like Davidoff's Cool Water. The scent of a sea breeze, if you will.
This one from All Things is where petrichor meets ocean breeze: The dark lusciousness of chocolate interspersed with sparkles of sea salt. If the sea breeze you caught in Cochin was a flavour on the tongue, this would be it.