Know your chocolate

Debarati Palit Singh
Thursday, 25 April 2019

Mandar Bhosale, certified chocolate taster and bean-to-bar maker, who conducted a chocolate tasting session in the city, says that Indians are consuming compounds and not real chocolates

With the pure passion to educate people about chocolates, certified chocolate taster and bean-to-bar maker, Mandar Bhosale, has been conducting chocolate tasting workshops in the city. He had organised a session in Aundh on April 20, which was attended by chocolate lovers. 

In the three-hour session Bhosale  spoke about the parameters of appreciating chocolate, chocolate tasting, understanding cocoa beans better and he discussed chocolates in general, including its history. Those attending the session got to taste both international and Indian brands like Ghirardelli, Godiva, Belgian chocolate, 90 per cent Cocoa, Paul and Mike, Mason & Co and others.
Towards the later part of the session, while making participants taste different chocolates, Bhosale asked them to identify the ingredients. Those who absolutely love chocolates could guess. This was an interesting part of the event and eye opening for those who are not so acquainted with the art of chocolate making.   

Post session, Bhosale said, “Indians’ knowledge about chocolates is very raw. They don’t know the difference between the chocolates available in the markets here and the real ones available abroad. Globally, chocolates are treated at a different level but in India, we are very primitive. The reason we are doing this session at such a low cost is to spread awareness of real chocolates — how they are good for health, how intense they are and how you can learn to appreciate fine chocolates.” 

Bhosale is on a personal mission to spread knowledge throughout the country about chocolates. “People should know that MNCs are fooling  customers. What we are consuming here in the name of chocolates are not actually chocolates but made out of compounds. These chocolates are not good for health. But real chocolates are beneficial for health,” he pointed out. 

That said, we can’t blame people here because chocolate hasn’t originated from India, he added. “In the past, a bakery or a pastry shop would make chocolate by using margarine, sugar and cocoa powder. Now, chocolates are made of compounds and contain trans fat which is absolutely unhealthy and leads to various diseases. I am not here to fight any big companies but I am just creating awareness because now is the time for upgradation. Social media is doing a great job of passing on knowledge, so things should change,” he said. 

But it’s just the beginning. “I don’t know where this will lead to but as I help spread awareness of chocolates among people, I hope they too will spread the same knowledge among others and eventually more people will know about real chocolates,” he said, adding, “I am sure Indians will eventually appreciate real chocolate and not fall for the compounds.”   

Bhosale, who is also the founder of International Chocolate Research and Innovation Council, has worked for a decade in the hospitality industry. He is currently associated with his family business which is into manufacturing chocolates. 

Bhosale said that he tasted his first real chocolate in the USA. “I had gone there for my training 12 years back. For me, chocolate was only Cadbury and they laughed at me. They were like, ‘This is a company name. What chocolate do you want?’ They gave me options and I went for dark chocolate with 60 per cent cocoa.  It left an impression on my mind. Since then, I have been a follower of pure chocolates,” he added. 

Bhosale has formed a home bakers’ community and also visits hotel management institutes to talk about chocolates at ground level. 

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