Meet Arun Viswanathan, who won a bronze medal at the International Chocolate Awards.

A conversation with Arun Viswanathan is always interesting, as it is always about chocolates. He recently created a buzz in the food industry by winning a bronze medal at the International Chocolate Awards in the Milk Chocolate with Infusion category, with mango lassi milk chocolate (from his range Chitra’m).

The International Chocolate Awards is an independent competition, held to recognise excellence in fine chocolate-making and its products. “The award concentrates on craft chocolates and the jury consisted of cocoa and chocolate-tasting experts from around the world,” said Arun, who will receive a certificate and a sticker to use on his chocolate wrapper.

Arun claims that he sources his cocoa beans from a farmer in Kerala and the flavouring agents from Coimbatore market. “The flavours of the beans vary from farm to farm. I was introduced to this farmer by a friend and his produce matched the standards I wanted. The quality of the beans and its fermentation process also play a crucial role in bringing out the flavour.” He sources the beans once a month, which are then roasted, cracked, winnowed and ground at a particular temperature for a specific period before being tempered and poured into moulds. “The flavours are added while grinding. Tempering gives the chocolate a shine and snap, both of which are properties of a good chocolate.”

His chocolates have a shelf life of six months and do not “have artificial sweeteners, colours, stabilisers, flavours or vegetable fat”. Arun says his chocolates have a slight bitter taste as he does not add vanilla essence. “They are good for health,” he claims. He has many plans for the future, such as “introducing new flavours. I cannot reveal much now; all I can say is they will involve flowers and tea.”

He also plans to introduce a new range of bottled frozen hot chocolate and a chocolate breakfast spread in December. He is also set to open a chocolate manufacturing unit with walk-in tours for the public in Coimbatore. “Winning this award has increased my confidence. Expectations have also increased. I will participate in more international chocolate expos.” His products will soon be available online and he is also looking to partner with cafés to sell his chocolates.

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