Chocolates with a `desi` touch a hit in Kolkata

Kolkata: If you want to feast on chocolates, better head towards a sweetmeat shop in the city.

By innovative fusing of chocolates with `desi` sweets, some of the top retailers in the city have now created more than 80 types of new mouth-watering delicacies.

Cadbury Kraft Foods, one of the largest sellers of chocolates in the country, have partnered with top nine sweet retailers in the city to create recipes.

As a result, popular sweet chains such as Bhim Chandra Nag, KC Das, Hindusthan Sweets, Ganguram Sweets and Gupta Brothers have created their own special `Cadbury Mishti (sweet)` using the chocolate as one of the key ingredients.

Since the campaign began last month, sweet-toothed Kolkatans have been gorging on latest varieties of sweets like `Choco Twister`, `Choco Kumbha`, `Choco Riceball`, `Choco Fusion`, `Kolaberi Di` and `Choco Mudpie`.

Each year on his birthday, school student Samrat Banerjee`s family has been treating their son with a bar of his favourite imported chocolates.

"But on his 14th birthday last week we thought of trying out these new varieties of sweets. He was pleasantly surprised," his father Bickramjit, who runs a consultancy firm at Camac Street, said.

"Our activity in Kolkata is another step in that direction.

Kolkata is a big `mithai` (sweet) market and a fusion of chocolate and `mithai` presents a great opportunity for us to build even stronger relevance here," Chandramouli Venkatesan, Director (Snacking & Strategy) of Cadbury Kraft Foods told PTI from Mumbai.

Encouraged by the success of the campaign, he said the company plans to execute more such regional initiatives in the future.

Established in 1826, Bhim Chandra Nag is one of the oldest sweet shops in the city. Its owner Suresh Nag said Bengali sweets like `Sandesh` are very versatile as it can be given any shape, colour, texture and flavour.

"Chocolates add a special flavour to our sweets. The response has been good so far," he said.

Explaining the trend, Dulal Gupta Sharma, secretary of the West Bengal Sweetmakers Association, said the sweet-making industry is changing itself gradually to keep pace with the current times.

"While retaining the original flavour, new twists are being given with chocolate flavours. With this we hope to attract the younger generation," he said.