We sat down with Harshit from Madhu Chocolate and long story short, here's how Madhu began:
When Harshit, a software engineer from India met Elliott, a food scientist, chocolate making wasn't a part of their lives and neither had any ambition to be the iconic chocolatiers they are today.
But after they married and settled down, the two decided to take up chocolate-making as a hobby. (When we asked Harshit why, his answer was, “…I love chocolate!” Enough said.) But rather than start off with basic molds and already made chocolate, they bought an actual melanger – as in, to grind their own cocoa bean nibs. Yes it is a serious piece of equipment and yes we are here for that kind of energy.
However it was in India, at Harshit's cousin's wedding, that inspiration struck. As you may know, Indian weddings are known for being large, splendid events with hundreds of people and lots of food. So, as to be expected, the wedding featured an incredible spread of Indian desserts, many of which Elliott had never experienced before. Sweets and puddings scented with cardamom, saffron, and fennel; fried balls of dough soaking in sweet rose syrup; spiced bars sprinkled with crushed pistachios. And that’s where it hit him: What if these flavors could be used in the chocolate they were making?
Along with Harshit’s mother, Madhu (which means sweet or honey in Hindi), and her recipes, the team created Madhu – a passionate love letter to Harshit’s Indian heritage and its culture – and of course, to his beloved mother. Described by Food and Wine as, “One of the best chocolates in America,” Madhu's ethically-sourced, bean-to-bar chocolates tell a rich, layered story with each bite.