Eating chocolates is no longer about snacking on them as children; it is more about savoring a wonderful piece of chocolate. It’s a way of life.
-Ronald Ng, Lemuel Chocolate Co-Founder
Singapore is well-known for its financial institutions rather than its exquisite dining options, and for good reason. In Singapore, the possibilities for chocolate enthusiasts have grown substantially in recent years, yet relatively few people have become interested. Locals continue to be more interested in beautiful cakes and foreign pastries than in chocolate. It will require significant efforts for the Little Red Dot to establish itself on the global chocolate map. What about Singaporeans, though?
What, if anything, might persuade Singaporeans to purchase more and better chocolate? I chatted with the co-founders of two Singaporean bean to bar chocolate firms, as well as a Singaporean bean to bar chocolate store, to get some answers to this question. None of these businesses existed even five years ago. Today’s episode delves at the foundations of good cuisine in Singapore, as defined by the country’s emerging fine coffee culture.
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We cover the following topics:
- background on how Singapore became a country
- what attracts Singaporeans to craft chocolate
- the most popular chocolates & chocolate flavors in Singapore
- chocolate’s very own “Starbucks”
- how Chinese heritage has hurt Singapore’s overall chocolate consumption
- challenges of opening a retail chocolate shop in Singapore
- consumer expectations from a chocolate shop vs. coffee shop
0:00-2:50 Introduction to Singapore and its burgeoning gourmet culinary culture.
2:50-10:50 Singapore’s most popular chocolate varieties and brands, as well as the country’s history with mass-produced chocolate (Jay Chua & Charis Xie).
10:50-12:10 The fundamentals of Singaporean coffee culture (Ronald Ng).
12:10-19:20 The Mast Brothers’ involvement in promoting Singaporean chocolate culture, how Hello Chocolate was created, and why handmade chocolate is more attractive to the changing Singaporean audience than mass market chocolate (Dima Minkov).
19:20-28:48 The impact of many Singaporeans’ Chinese ancestry on the country’s chocolate consumption, the most popular varieties of chocolate in Singapore, and the difficulty of establishing a real chocolate retail business. Additionally, the episode’s conclusion (Ronald Ng).
More About Our Visitors
Jay Chua and Charis Xie are two of the three co-founders of Fossa Chocolate, Singapore’s first bean-to-bar, artisan chocolate producer. Visit the Fossas website, Instagram, and Facebook pages.
Dima Minkov: Since 2015, Dima Minkov has been a co-founder of Hello Chocolate, an online luxury chocolate retailer located in Singapore. Visit Hello Chocolates’ website and Instagram.
Ronald Ng: Co-founder of Lemuel Chocolate, a Singapore-based bean-to-bar artisan chocolate manufacturer with a retail presence in downtown Singapore. Visit Lemuel on Facebook, Instagram, and his website.
- Basic history of and background on Singapore
- “Duck Shit” Tea
- Specialty coffee culture in Singapore
- What are “heaty” foods?
Contact Chocolate On The Road
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) of the website Freemusicarchive.org. www.kai-engel.com Our show music is Roadtrip by Phil Reavis, and our transition music is Were Gonna Be Around by People Like Us and a variety of Lobo Loco tunes. There are also excerpts from Contract by Marceau of Freemusicarchive.org and Homeroad by Kai Engel (http: