Chocolate, for many, is an expression of love and satisfaction. A comfort food that forms the crux of celebration across cultures, chocolate has suddenly found itself at the cringe end of culinary experiments, much to the dismay of cacao lovers. On World Chocolate Day, renowned chefs and food bloggers tell us why social media users should leave the beloved chocolate out of their gimmicky gastronomic trials that are, at most times, done to increase views on engagements rather than something meaningful.
“I don’t believe mixing chocolate with just about anything will work. In the case of a momo, for example, you can always turn it into a modak-like dish, or in the case of golgappa, you can coat the puri in chocolate and fill it with something sweet. But, when you mix all the pani, that surely won’t work. I also don’t know of people who have successfully infused the flavour of cocoa in a noodle-based dish. I feel it’s best to stay away from fads in the name of experiments,” says the chef.
“When we talk of infusing chocolate in dishes, you can think of a banana chocolate panjiri laddoo or a savoury like chicken wings tossed in hot sauce with a hint of chocolate; it can elevate the experience. But otherwise, I am a purist. I don’t want to see, say, a chocolate biryani. Even while adding chocolate to Indian desserts, I would have a full list of dos and don’ts. Like, I won’t be able to appreciate a chocolate rasgulla or a chocolate ghewar,” says the chef.
“Chocolate and I have a love affair that can’t be put into words, so every time someone does something weird with it, more than grossing me out, it puts me off. Chocolate is something that should be enjoyed the way it is meant to be; it should make you want to drop everything, forget the calories and binge. Every time I see a chocolate momo or chocolate dosa, it’s an instant reflex of someone violating my most favourite thing. Chocolate should just be left alone!” asserts the chef.
The chef notes: “Food combinations are a personal choice. For example, pineapple on pizza is a combo many hate, but there is an audience for it. Talking of chocolate, too, we’d see many Reels and short clips popping up. But, there is a thin line one must not cross, especially when a dish is made for virality and not for the experience of the dish. Things like chocolate sandwich or chocolate gulab jamun or even chocolate pizza, which is just chocolate smeared on a bread-like base, are not so bad. But I think one needs to stay away from things like chocolate pasta, biryani with chocolate sauce poured over it or chocolate corn.”
“While scrolling on Instagram, one chocolate dish that I have come across is chocolate burger, which I find absolutely appalling. I have seen versions where people sandwich a chocopie between two buns as the patty and add a generous amount of store-bought chocolate syrup as a sauce, to make it even worse. Safest to just leave chocolate alone!” says this baker-content creator.
“Chocolates have been an essential part of celebrations big or small. Being a food blogger, I’m all for food experimentation. However, I feel for views and comments on social media, people tend to go a step further and really disrespect chocolate! No one’s gonna eat noodles with chocolate or a samosa with chocolate! It’s all made for the gram, for views and engagement. I really wish people stop adding chocolate to anything under the sun!” opines the food blogger.
Srinidhi Gopalakrishnan is a Content Producer at Hindustan Times. She writes about health, food and other subjects under the lifestyle domain for the daily Entertainment & Lifestyle supplement, HT City. …view detail
Seyyed Hafeez Hashmi, a multi-faceted individual whose diverse expertise spans the realms of journalism, literature, media, and digital innovation. With a rich tapestry of skills and accomplishments, Seyyed Hafeez Hashmi embodies the essence of a prolific author, seasoned journalist, anchor, analyst, graphics designer, social media influencer, and the visionary force behind several impactful platforms.