Unfortunately, what you’re paying for isn’t better chocolate, ingredients or expert making, but exorbitantly high import duties and transportation costs. Most foreign chocolates available in India are considered strictly mediocre in their home countries. With our chocolate, you’re paying for top drawer stuff – fine flavour cocoa beans, ‘Honest Ingredients’ and expertise.
That’s actually wholly untrue. It’s only dark chocolate that’s made from poor quality cocoa beans that is bitter. We farm and process our cocoa beans with great scrutiny, so our fine flavour cocoa beans are way less bitter and instead have complex flavours that add character to our chocolate. Pay close attention and you’ll discover fruity, floral or spicy undertones while savouring Paul and Mike dark chocolates.
At the 2021 International Chocolate Awards, of the 35 Golds, not one was won by a Belgian or Swiss chocolate maker! Conventionally, the Swiss and Belgians have been known for chocolate - thanks to their marketing prowess. However, just like in the wine industry, newer regions are emerging as producers of exceptional chocolate. So the next time you buy a premium chocolate, pay more attention to the product and the maker, than to the country it was made in.
Africa is indeed the largest producer of cocoa beans and supplies to some of the largest mass chocolate makers. Naturally then, Africa has come to be marketed by them as the source of best cocoa beans. In reality, all cocoa producing regions produce varying qualities of cocoa beans, and so does Africa. But don’t take our word for it – how about the fact that out of the 18 winners at the 2019 Cocoa of Excellence Awards, only 4 were from Africa! The quality of cocoa is determined less by where it is grown, and more by how it is grown, harvested and processed. And that, ladies and gentlemen, is what makes a chocolate average, better or simply the best.
Nearly 50% of a cocoa bean is cocoa butter which gives chocolate its rich mouthfeel. When this cocoa butter is extracted from the bean, what’s left behind is inferior cocoa powder/solids. The cocoa percentage of a bar merely states what amount of its contents comes from cocoa beans – it does not indicate whether it is cocoa beans or inferior cocoa powder/solids. So, a 60% cocoa chocolate made from 60% cocoa beans is far superior to the one made from 60% cocoa powder/solids.
That used to be the case in an era when a Rs 10 chocolate bar was a luxury for most in India. Couverture only means that the chocolate contains cocoa butter and no vegetable oil. It totally ignores the quality of cocoa beans that the chocolate is made from. Most coverture chocolates are made from average quality cocoa beans and hence do not have the flavor complexity of a farm to bar chocolate. Careful harvesting, fermentation and drying of cocoa beans makes for a chocolate full of character owing to its flavor complexity and depth.