Laura Slack’s back! Chocolate skull filled with caramel and black garlic.
I found myself on a work contract last year where I was walking distance to Soma Chocolate 2 days a week! It was chocolate every day for me: tumbled hazelnuts baked into Nutella cookies; tumbled ginger baked into ginger cookies, and spicy mayan hot chocolate mix. I wanted to perform an experiment to see what effect, besides to my waistline, having chocolate every week would do. Apparently it’s benefitting my cholesterol level, memory and risk of heart disease and stroke.
Stress, weather and just plain desire are some of the more personally compelling reasons to indulge in chocolate. Check out the following links for recommended chocolate shops around the world. And remember to research which brands use fair-trade cocoa products.
The India I visited is not a walkers’ paradise. The streets of Delhi are extremely polluted, crowded and holds the possibility of being accosted by one of the capital’s many professional beggars. Despite that, I managed to walk a little and find some chocolate.
This is, or rather was, the chocolate burfi I indulged in on my last full day in India. Burfi is a sweet typically made with ground nuts, sugar and milk product (condensed, powdered). It is a sort of Indian fudge.
This is a ‘chocobite’ which was purchased at a renowned sweet shop in Jaipur, the pink city. Both bits of chocolate I had, bore little resemblance to the rich bites I’m accustomed to eating. Generally, the chocolate I encountered was such in name and appearance only. Apart from local manifestations, you can also get popular Western brands such as the Dairy Milk line.
While one can easily satisfy their sweet tooth in India with an assortment of widely available mithai (sweets), the chocoholic may have a less than stellar experience of chocolate in India.
Are you a chocoholic who’s been to India and has had a memorable chocolate experience? If so, do tell…
Bread, on the other hand, is a different and more delightful matter. In India, wheat is one of the staple grains with India in the top ten list of the world’s producers. Different varieties of wheat are primarily cultivated in the northern states.
Indian bread is typically round flatbread that is often unleavened. It comes in many varieties and can either be plain, stuffed and/or deep-fried. It is a popular accompaniment with every meal.
naan – the white bread of India; made with all-purpose flour and comes plain, buttered, with garlic or cheese.
roti/chapati – the brown bread of India. It is made with atta flour, a softly textured whole wheat. It can be cooked on a tawa (flat cast iron pan) or in a tandoor (clay oven). Variations exist depending on the flour used (eg missi roti is made with chickpea flour).
puri/poori – a puffy fried dough
dosa – an Indian crepe often stuffed with potato and eaten for breakfast in the south, ie masala dosa.
paratha – a fried version of roti. Can be plain or stuffed. (Eg aloo paratha is stuffed with cauliflower.)
papad – akin to a cracker, it is thin, crispy and seasoned.