In a culinary world dominated by the star fruits that are mangoes and bananas, India's native flora struggles to keep up with the demand for European berries, with farmers facing numerous challenges in their cultivation which leaves endangered fruits to only be grown in the wild. This has led to the overshadowing of our native flora by imported foods. The prevalence of culinary homogeneity is evident in global and Indian patisserie menus, where strawberries and similar fruits have become staples, replacing the exotic, locally available flora that is part of our heritage.
By bringing the focus back to native Indian flora, Saraam Chocolate is committed to celebrating India's biodiversity by harnessing the power of single-origin Indian cacao; highlighting the unique terroir and characteristics of the region. This Udaipur-based brand was founded by Digvijay Singh at the tender age of 16 who learned how to make chocolate from the internet and started out by selling his products at local farmers markets. Today, Saraam Chocolate is a small but growing business that sells its products online and offline through various high end stores, five-star hotels and entertainment venues.
Saraam Chocolate goes a step further by incorporating indigenous endangered fruits into their creations like Baer, also known as the Indian Jujube. This historically prominent yet slowly fading fruit finds a new lease on life within their chocolate bars. By showcasing endangered fruits like the Baer, Saraam Chocolate not only tantalizes taste buds but also aims to raise awareness about the importance of preserving India's botanical heritage and putting Indian biodiversity on a global, culinary map.
Not to sound like a total boomer but I remember eating mulberries straight off my neighbour's trees and then going home with a uniform stained in its blood-red juices like some Jungle Book character. Or the times my father would bring strange tangy fruits with funny names grown only in the state of Chhattisgarh. Over the years, we caught the wave of internet trends and got more interested in avocados and dragonfruits instead. This chocolate day let's de-whitewash our culinary preferences and relish our own indigenous flora before it disappears.
If you enjoyed reading this, here's more from Homegrown: