Keep Houston Press Free
| Sweets |

Chamak Chocolates Takes Edible Art to a New Level

It's rare that I describe something as "too pretty to eat," and I have to admit, when I do, I'm usually exaggerating, especially if I'm talking about anything sweet. My hunger for chocolate, candy, and baked goods is so rapacious, I really can't be satisfied with merely admiring a dessert. Consumption is how I show my love and respect. To food, I mean. (No cannibal here, no thank you.)

The offerings at Chamak Chocolates have posed the strongest challenge to this practice in recent history. They are so lovely that I stared at them for a full 24 hours, then I willed myself to eat them only after my husband noted their lasting beauty may be hiding declining freshness.

This article continues on the next page.

The first beautiful victim of my Chamak Chocolate tasting was the "Texas Thithilee," a whimsical, butterfly-shaped chocolate (thithilee is Hindi for "butterfly"). The mildly sweet white chocolate exterior encases a stronger, seasoned interior of nutmeg and Texas pecans, a wonderful combination of Lone Star legumes and South Asian spices.

I found even more intense heat in the "Sholay" (or "flame"), which matched bitter 60 percent cacao chocolate with cinnamon and red and black pepper. This confection challenged my standard American palate, which is accustomed to the idea that desserts are uniformly sweet, and while my heart of hearts is loyal to the more straightforward stuff of Hershey, I adored its spunky originality.

I Support
  • Local
  • Community
  • Journalism
  • logo

Support the independent voice of Houston and help keep the future of Houston Press free.

Gulabi aankhen jo teri, a lyric from and title of a classic Bollywood song, roughly translates to "your rose-like eyes." Although this flavor is the least showy in terms of appearance among Chamak Chocolates, its components -- a milk chocolate truffle infused with rose essence and petals, coated in poppy seeds -- couldn't taste prettier.

I saved the most attractive chocolate for last, because I think I harbored some vague hope I would be too full to eat it. Alas, the feisty flavors of the aforetasted sweets only intensified my hunger and my curiosity. The qadeem (Hindi for "antique"), swathed in pink, ivory, gold, and green, boasted an appropriately old-world flavor as well as look, thanks to the combination of ginger and milk chocolate that made me nostalgic for childhood Christmases.

Sarah Ali, the creative confectioner behind Chamak Chocolates, also makes South Asian-inspired brownies, cookies, and cupcakes. Unfortunately (for me), I don't think they're quite as beautiful as her truffles, which means should I get my hands on them there will be no hesitation on my part about demolishing them all in one sitting.

Keep the Houston Press Free... Since we started the Houston Press, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Houston, and we would like to keep it that way. Offering our readers free access to incisive coverage of local news, food and culture. Producing stories on everything from political scandals to the hottest new bands, with gutsy reporting, stylish writing, and staffers who've won everything from the Society of Professional Journalists' Sigma Delta Chi feature-writing award to the Casey Medal for Meritorious Journalism. But with local journalism's existence under siege and advertising revenue setbacks having a larger impact, it is important now more than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" membership program, allowing us to keep covering Houston with no paywalls.

We use cookies to collect and analyze information on site performance and usage, and to enhance and customize content and advertisements. By clicking 'X' or continuing to use the site, you agree to allow cookies to be placed. To find out more, visit our cookies policy and our privacy policy.


Join the Press community and help support independent local journalism in Houston.


Join the Press community and help support independent local journalism in Houston.