I am a 90’s child. I grew up in an era where life was simpler, less commercialized, and cell phones were kept away at dinner tables. Where Happy Cow cheese was our idea of international Swiss cheese, and where you had to request your neighbor aunty to buy you Toblerone when she returned from the ‘Gulf’. And chocolates in the country were limited to Dairy Milk and the likes. And then there was Fantasie – exquisite, gourmet, specially crafted chocolates – that seemed like such a prized catch back then. And in some ways it still is.
My introduction to Fantasie chocolates happened via an old family friend of ours. This lovely lady, a classmate of my grandmother, would come to visit us every six months. And everytime she visited, without fail, she would bring along a huge box of assorted Fantasie chocolates for the family. My grandmother knew I loved the chocolates so much that no one else was allowed to eat them. It was my first introduction to the world of gourmet chocolates, the first time I may have tried caramel, or praline, or mint in a chocolate. I would guard the box with all my life, and sustain every bit of self control to eat only one piece from the box everyday after dinner. Aah, memories!
The lovely Tiny Taster, one of my favorite bloggers of all times, invited me for a Fantasie Party recently at their Marine Lines store. We brought in the Easter weekend, devouring chocolates of every kind. It was such a pleasure to meet the warm and ever-smiling Zeba Kohli, owner of Fantasie chocolates and host for the evening. She’s like our very own Willy Wonka, but definitely prettier. The air was permeating with the fragrance of chocolate, pretty pink and florals in sight, the sound of giggling cacophonous women….and chocolate!
A chocolate buffet if you can imagine. There was chocolate of every kind- milk, white, dark, bitter. Chocolate of every shape – round, flat, squares, liquid, slabs and more.Chocolate of every flavour – caramel, mint, coffee and more. Chocolate covered everything – almonds, cashews, coffee, granola and more. Molten strawberry chocolate fountains, hot chocolate to sip on….do you still want me to go on? Really, such a chocolate high!
What I really loved seeing was the chocolate art on display. A chess board made of chocolate. Chocolate handbags and shoes for the fashion conscious. And a chocolate Braille bar which I thought was just such a wonderful concept. They also do healthier chocolate options like granola, and chocolate for diabetics. And with Easter around the corner, can I miss out on Easter eggs and bunnies?
There really is a chocolate option for everyone! And if you’re a chocoholic like I am, you’d love them all. Forget love, I’d rather fall in chocolate. And the Fantasie store is a love nest indeed. I left with memories. Memories of my childhood, and that Fantasie chocolate box I would await so eagerly. Aunty is no more, granny has moved onto another city but my love for chocolate remains. No matter how many newer, international brands hit the city, nostalgia and memories win hands down. Aunty R, thank you for making me a chocoholic.
Check out Fantasie Fine Chocolates on their web page here. They have five stores in the city – Marine Lines, Warden Road, Bandra, Worli, and Andheri.
(Thanks to the lovely Benaaz Pherozshaw, @benaazp and my mom @anahitairani1 for letting me use some of their pictures).