I was introduced to Bonfiction via a small tasting that was held in Hyderabad, many months ago. Akhil Grandhi, who co-founded the brand of artisanal chocolate along with his wife Prathina, took us through their incredible process. I had never tasted the pulp of a ripe cacao pod up until the point that I had met Akhil, whose enthusiasm was as palpable as it was contagious.
Bonfiction is created in small batches, grown and developed as close to home as Rajahmundry. Every little detail that has gone into the crafting of Bonfiction feels intentional and thoughtful. The Grandhi’s integrity is evident in their labour of love that is Bonfiction.
The names of each of their 14 varieties attempt to function as cues, for the stories that the flavours hope unfurl within one’s imagination. And these are accompanied by endearing illustrations on their packaging.
My all-time favourite from their range, is ‘Mango Menace.’ It contains dehydrated bits of mango that are intensely flavoured, melt deliciously into your mouth, and are followed not long after by a hit of Mundu chili. The illustration on the packaging is reminiscent of idyllic summer afternoons from a lifetime ago.
A close second, is their ‘Lost in an Orange Haze’— 64% dark chocolate, cinnamon and candied orange peel— a combination that is pure magic. I’ve always loved the combination of orange with chocolate, but the hint of cinnamon brings with it a lovely warmth. It’s packaging contains what is perhaps my favourite illustration in the entire series— a girl wandering with her umbrella through fields that are warm and orange, set ablaze by the afternoon sun.
I also love how ‘When Coffee Met Cacao’ greets you with the earthiness of freshly roasted and ground coffee. The sweetness is just right, not overpowering, that allows the Arabica to come through distinctly.
Of course, one cannot go wrong with ‘Out in the Dark’— the brand’s award-winning 73% dark chocolate. It’s sweetened with cane sugar like all the others in their range and has just three ingredients: Cacao Beans, Organic Cane Sugar and Cocoa Butter. Which really make these chocolates the real deal for me. ‘Memories of a Brown Harvest,’ their 64% dark chocolate, is just as luscious. And also one of my favourites.
Currently, Bonfiction (only) ships across the country. But my hope is that they’re available overseas in the near future so that this extraordinary little bar, grown and crafted with finesse in Rajahmundry, can travel the world— far and wide.
— Faiza Hasan