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The one ingredient that seems to be a universal favourite is chocolate. Almost everyone enjoys them and they make great presents. For years, people would bring back chocolates from their travels because the thought of only eating locally available Dairy Milk filled them with disdain. Today, of course, the choice of chocolate brands has increased and popular names such as Lindt and Godiva are easily accessible. However, locally produced artisanal chocolates are still an uncommon sight. Chocolatier and Chef Varun Inamdar has decided to change that, and recently launched his own brand of signature Indian-inspired chocolates.
As Forrest Gump famously said ‘Life is like a box of chocolates. You never know what you are going to get. That is the best way to sum up the experience of diving into a box of Barcode Chocolates. Chef Inamdar is highly inspired by India and her locally available ample ingredients, and has brought together a perfect marriage of Indian-inspired flavours with Couverture Chocolate sourced from Ghana, Ecuador and Java. What is interesting is that this is the first of its kind. While we love eating chocolate, we do not produce a lot of it and especially with such unusual flavour combinations. The first edition of Barcode includes six different chocolates that have been inspired from various states across the country. The company plans to eventually cover all 29 states. Andhra Pradesh, Tamil Nadu, Sikkim, Gujarat, Jharkhand and Punjab feature in the first edition. The idea is to highlight an ingredient from the state and pair it with dark or milk chocolate. While each state is famous for certain ingredients, Chef Inamdar has deliberately chosen more offbeat – or shall we say lesser known – ingredients to create a distinctly new flavour of chocolate.
The first box includes amla, lemon and coriander salt from Jharkhand, sapota and fenugreek from Gujarat, figs and cloves from Tamil Nadu, kinnow and ajwain from Punjab, Banganapalli mango and Teja chilli from Andhra Pradesh and black cardamom and Dalle chilli from Sikkim. A far cry from the obvious, but the chocolatier has made a bold and successful attempt to create a new range of chocolates that showcases various ingredients and highlights unique flavour combinations with chocolate. If you are looking for a touch of spice and boldness in your chocolate and are completely bored of generic flavours, then you need to get your hands on a box of Volume 1 Barcode chocolates.
This is the first of possibly five more editions and will soon be available at various gourmet outlets. For now, to place an order, you can email: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Better known as the Tiny Taster, Roxanne is an internationally respected blogger and expert on the Mumbai food scene. She has hosted many events, including the Upper Crust Food & Wine Show and travels the world, sharing her knowledge and gaining more experience.