On World Chocolate Day, we explore seven artisanal Indian cocoa brands that continue to offer not just taste but an experience to savour

Over the years, the chocolatey offerings have become vivid in variety, but no fancy desserts, sweet drinks or experimental dishes can bring the comfort of relishing a chocolate candy bar anytime, anywhere
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It's impossible to ignore the sheer joy a simple candy bar can bestow upon its consumers. The mere act of unwrapping a bar, the distinct snap of breaking off a piece and the rich, velvety texture melting in one's mouth can turn even a bad day into something extraordinary. This universal delight, often linked with childhood memories, celebrations and small indulgences, underscores chocolate's magical ability to evoke serotonin. In India, although this enchantment largely revolved around Cadbury Dairy Milk, it has now been elevated by a host of innovative home-grown brands crafting chocolate with unique and mesmerising flavours. Over the years, the chocolatey offerings have become vivid in variety, but no fancy desserts, sweet drinks or experimental dishes can bring the comfort of relishing a chocolate candy bar anytime, anywhere. For those who always make sure to carry these bars of deliciousness in their bags, we list the seven best you should treat yourselves with on this World Chocolate Day.

Subko Cacao

An experimental delight titled the Kashmiri Walnut Chocolate Chip Cookie Bar is inspired by Subko Bakehouse's classic chunky cookie, an experience which has been recreated in every bite of this 45 percent craft milk chocolate bar. Infused with walnut butter and embedded with walnut cookie chunks, roasted chopped walnuts and a hint of sea salt, this bar offers a truly comforting combination of flavours. ₹695. Available online.

Colocal Indian Origin Chocolates

The limited edition Anniversary Bar is specially crafted to celebrate Roastery Coffee's fourth anniversary. Made with Indian cacao beans, cane sugar, coffee grounds, butter, milk solids, cacao nibs and mixed fruits, this bar delivers delightful caramel-tasting notes. Their Indian-origin beans are responsibly grown, ethically sourced, well fermented and carefully roasted to enhance the chocolate's flavour profile. ₹385. Available online.

Manam Chocolate

Specially crafted with cacao grown in the West Godavari District of Andhra Pradesh, this exquisite Lemon & White Chocolate Infusion Tablet is infused with fresh lemon zest. Part of the Signature Infusions Series, it pairs distinctive ingredients with our house- fermented Indian origin West Godavari cacao promising a unique sweet and sour experience. ₹425. Available online.

Ether Chocolate

Inspired by the Japanese festival of Hanami, the 45 percent Dark Sakura bar captures the fresh, delicate scent and fleeting beauty of cherry blossoms, This uniquely nuanced, floral chocolate is balanced with tartness and a satisfying crunch from petite wild strawberry meringues. Crafted by chef Prateek Bakhtiani, it is a special edition from the Japanese Collection - Kizuna. Experience a small piece of magical Japanese springtime, featuring iconic flavours from the Asian country's islands. ₹590. Available online.

Chitra'm Craft Chocolates

On a healthier note and reinterpreting Indian delicacies in the form of chocolate, the Holy Fruit Trio (Mukkani) bar sources cocoa from select farms in Tamil Nadu and Kerala. This bar blends mango in dark chocolate with banana and jackfruit, traditionally considered an auspicious offering in Southern India. ₹250. Available online.

Hill Wind

This Northeast Indian chocolate brand has taken a traditional approach with the King Chilli Chocolate Bar, blending powdered king chilli or the ghost pepper popularly known as bhut jolokia in Assamese-for a mildly spicy aftertaste. Nestled in the lush landscapes of rolling hills, the brand aims to capture the essence of the region and empower communities through this unique product. ₹160. Available online.

Anuttama

Sweetened with dates, this 70 percent dark farm-to-bar chocolate is both super healthy and super tasty. Made with just three Ingredients-cocoa nibs, cocoa butter and dates-it delivers a slightly bitter aftertaste that enhances the cocoa flavour. These bars are free from preservatives, artificial colours or flavours, vegetable fats and emulsifiers. ₹200. Available online.

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