The words of Willie Wonka reverberated in my mind ” Tremendous things are in store for you, wonderful surprises await you!” As I walked into the thicket, full of excitement as we entered Mason and Co chocolate factory in Auroville. It was a beautiful bungalow in Auroville, nestled in the trees all around.
Mason and Co is one of the leading manufacturers of organic artisan chocolate in India, and I have to say it tastes beyond delish!
Run by Fabian and Jane Mason, this company started as an Auroville unit and has now, quite honestly taken India by storm with their delectable chocolates.
With special permission, we were allowed to visit the factory on a beautiful Tuesday afternoon. We have cocoa pods growing at home, so I’ve been trying to find a way to use them to make some chocolate at home.
We were given surgical caps to wear, as we entered the first room of the factory.
I felt exactly like Charlie Bucket, minus the Oompa Loompas, filled with wonder and excitement as we entered.
The Oompa Loompa song played through my head as we were talked through the process of making chocolate from cocoa pods. We saw a humungous machine winnowing the pods, separating the cocoa nibs and shells.
The smell of chocolate filled the air and it was one of the most wondrous experiences!
We then went into the second room where we saw machines grinding the nibs with the cocoa butter. The smell in that room was intoxicating, and had me as soon as I stepped in. This is the stuff chocolate dreams are made of!
Finally onto the last room, where a sweet and timid group of women were filling the tempered chocolate into moulds, and on a table in front, some were being demoulded. A huge table covered in chocolate, who can ask for anything better?
Bar after bar of shiny, perfectly tempered glorious chocolate! One bite and I’m transported straight into a fantasy world, away from the reality of this planet.
We saw them packaging the bars, ready to be sent out all across the country.
The bonus however, was that they let us into their storage freezer, where we were allowed to buy piles of chocolate to take back home!
Flavours like rosemary and sea salt, orange, raisin, semisweet and more! The list was endless. We also bought some cocoa nibs and some chocolate tea( tea made from the outside of the pods, steeped into water)
Finally we said our goodbyes. Feeling full of awe and wonder of the whole experience, we walked out like little children, very gluttonous children indeed. With a huge bag, filled with bars and bars of their glorious artisan chocolate!