OK, Smarty Pants, we know you go to eat at Pondicherry {does anyone actually call it Puducherry?} and Rendezvous or Satsang, is your favourite. But what happens when you’re full of main courses? Ah ha! That’s where these marvellous enterprises come into play. Cool off with Tiramisu {vegan} gelato, stock up on Sea Salt Dark Chocolate or simply indulge in some authentic croissants. And not the diluted versions. We’re talking limited-edition, organic and non processed — after all, like Levi’s affirms: Quality Never Goes Out Of Style.

Mason & Co

Photo source: Mason & Co

Photo source: Mason & Co

Pure chocolate made from the finest beans across the globe? Oh, yes please! While you must certainly stock up on unadulterated cocoa powder and nibs, Mason & Co’s chocolate bars have our hearts. In flavours such as Coconut Milk, Cinnamon and Chilli, Sea Salt Dark Chocolate and my personal favourite, the Espresso Dark Chocolate, it’s sheer indulgence. Naturally, we buy the Gift Pack for…ourselves! Keep an eye out for the limited edition stuff too – think a Peru Light Roast or Coconut Masala Chai. Oh, and the best part? It’s 100 per cent organic, according to French founders, Jane and Faben. More on the chocolates here.

#LBBTip

With permission, you can even tour the factory that produces the chocolates.

Price: INR 590 upwards for 140 gms.

Baker Street

With nothing whatsoever to do with Sherlock Holmes, yet everything to do with breads, make sure to take a rather large basket to stock up at Baker Street. Keeping it simple {as if the French can!}, croissants are dreamy here. Flaky, soft inside, buttery and melt-in-the-mouth, they’re the bestsellers here. Pain Au Chocolat come a close second. If you like desserts, do try the Mille feuille. Go home with fresh macaroons, muffins and brioche to keep a slice of France for just bit longer.

Price: INR 50 upwards

Marc’s Coffee

Photo source: Marc's café, Roast & Taste

Photo source: Marc’s café, Roast & Taste

Don’t just hit up this cute café and end the experience there in Pondicherry. Or for Marc Tormo Altimira, the founder, despite his Spanish charm. Make sure to bring back some caffeine — powered and suited to your exact needs and desires. Be it single-estate {the Julien Peak is fabulous} or wonderful blends like the dark roast Malabar Blues, every cuppa can be perfect with the coffee from Marc’s.

Price: INR 135 to INR 1,800

Gelato Factory

Photo source: Gelato Factory

Photo source: Gelato Factory

Sure Pondicherry is dominated by French culture, but when it comes to gelato, there’s nothing that comes close the Italians. And luckily, Gelato Factory, was started by Francesco Carboni and Silvia Latini from Rome, so expect authentic vegetarian artisanal ice cream here. Ferrero Rocher, banana, walnut, tiramisu, Passion Fruit, Zabaione {yes, that dessert with wine} and the usuals of chocolate, coffee and vanilla. They even do a great chocolate and vanilla for vegans – and you’ll barely notice the difference. If you’re daring, try the Affogato {ice cream with a shot of espresso on the top} or the Crema Ice Cream dressed with Balsamic Vinegar.

Price: INR 100 upwards

Mango Hill Cheese

Photo source: Mango Hill Hotel - The Melting Spot

Photo source: Mango Hill Hotel – The Melting Spot

Of course you know about the cutesy resort in Pondicherry,  but did you know the same enterprise makes brilliant cheese too? Be it the mozzarella or Parmesan you are looking for, or the more exotic Gouda, Borsalino, Colby or Blue, they’ve got it all. That too homemade and non-processed, naturally. We never leave without the woody Cheddar and most times the crumbly Feta — of course it barely lasts the drive back because we finish it off. Moral of the story? Buy loads extra! Especially since they’re all vacuum packed.

Price: INR 250 upwards

Naturellement

Two words for you – Nut Butters. Apparently 100 per cent organic, the nut butters from Naturellement are made from nuts or seeds which are slow-roasted in a wood-fired oven before they’re ground to make the paste. Currently, there’s peanut butter — crunchy or creamy as well as Tahini, made from sesame seeds. When there, also partake of the jams {strawberry, tamarind, apple, plum among plenty others}, jellys, marmalade, chutneys, condiments such as pesto, French mustard and mayonnaise. And the baked products ranging from breakfast cereals and breads to cookies and cakes, are on hand too.

Price: INR 200 upwards

Feature Photo: Gelato Factory