Chocolate Review – Mast Brothers Chocolate

I first heard of the Mast Brothers on a Cooking Channel Food(ography) episode about chocolate. I was intrigued that they were the only bean-to-bar chocolate makers in New York City, and that their factory was based in Williamsburg, Brooklyn – my hood. The chocolate is produced in small batches by the Mast Brothers – Rick and Michael. They handcraft each bar of chocolate themselves from cacao sourced from small family-run farms in places like Ecuador, Venezuela, and Madagascar. You can see why I was so interested to taste their craft. So I looked online to see the nearest place I might find one of these fabulous bars (Bedford Cheese Shop) and snagged myself one.

The Mast Brothers bar I chose to sample was the Sambirano Valley, Madagascar variety, 72%. I carefully unwrapped my $9 chocolate bar and couldn’t help but feel as if I was one of the lucky winners in ‘Charlie and the Chocolate Factory’ unwrapping my Wonka bar to find that golden ticket…

The wrappings were simple, but made with quality – much like the chocolate. First things first, I broke my bar up into pieces and examined the appearance. It was smooth and beautiful. I knew this was going to be a unique bar of chocolate that I would want to savor. So I set myself up in front of the TV, equipped with my notepad and chocolate bar, and dove in…

At first bite, I felt a surge of flavor explode in my mouth. I found there to be more spices and character in this chocolate, than most others I have sampled. It felt rich (I mean, it was $9 ;-)) and grainy, with more than a hint of citrus present. I took my time in tasting – and allowed each square to melt almost fully in my mouth before chewing. It felt full-bodied, almost like a fine red wine. The flavor I found to be most powerful though, was the cherry. The surprising fruity flavor was interesting and provoked me to concentrate more, to try and pick up any other unexpected flavors present in this bar of exquisite dark chocolate.

Overall, I found this smooth bar of chocolate to be chock full of personality, and I felt like I could taste the effort that went into its production. On a scale to 10 I would rate it an 8. The only aspect that was not to my taste, was the fairly sharp aftertaste of what felt like chile pepper biting the back of my throat. I did not detect chile in tasting, only after. I like spicy, but this wasn’t a good taste or feeling. Otherwise, I very much enjoyed the Mast Brothers Chocolate bar and am anxious to try their other varieties.

❤ M

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