The Breukelen Life

The Breukelen Life

Food, Yoga and Travel in Brooklyn

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Mast Brothers Chocolate

October 2, 2012 ,

A little over a week ago, P and I had the fun time of taking a tour of Mast Brothers Chocolate in Williamsburg. (Obviously, I’m a little late writing about this one, but nonetheless…here we go.)

It would be putting it lightly to say that I’m a huge Mast Brothers fan. When I first started buying their chocolate over 2 years ago, I thought I was crazy for spending $8, sometimes $10 on one of their bars. I mean, it IS nuts.

That’s a lot of money for chocolate. But, I was in the midst of my weight loss goals and was finding, oddly enough, that a simple square or two saved me from my sweet tooth cravings that generally took over the day.

Yes, I tried other dark chocolate but nothing else had the same effect with so little. I would devour an entire Lindt bar just while blinking so I stuck with Mast. Twenty pounds down, I stopped thinking about the cost.

A Mast Brothers bar is a pure one to say the least. There are two main ingredients – Cocao and cane sugar. While they have over a dozen different bars, the flavors are developed by the region the beans come and very rarely by what they grind into the cocoa. This to me is the best part. There is no cream, no refined sugar, no butter. The beans and the grinding method speak for themselves.

I was shocked to see how small their facility actually was. Even more so, to see a squat bearded man at the counter, hand wrapping each individual bar with their custom designed, heavy weight stock.

The beans are brought to Brooklyn via sailboat, the first cargo ship to make a delivery to a New York City Port since the 80’s. You can watch info on that here.

The beans are hand sorted and roasted. Then they are hulled and roasted in batches so small that actual chocolate making equipment doesn’t exist at that size. They had to improvise, searching out machines that were once used to grind rice into flour. The specialty bars, like smoked vanilla are done minimally. The vanilla bean is smoked in house and then tossed into the chocolate during the grinding process. The same goes for the Stumptown bar, truffle, chili and the few others. The grinding room is probably one of the best smelling rooms I have been in. EVER.

After the grinding, the chocolate sits for about a month to set the flavors marinated and then it is made into bars.

One complaint about the tour – not enough samples. There was a nice range of bars from different regions but I’ve been dying to try to the truffle bar and I refuse to buy it. Anyways… My favorite remains the Brooklyn Blend. It’s an earthy bar with 74% cocoa giving hints of plum and tobacco. I find it’s best for eating and baking so I like to get the big baking bar top be a bit more cost efficient.
Give it a try. You won’t be sorry!


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Yeah, they’re chocolate is pretty addictive…

Brooklyn Locavore

October 2, 2012

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