Saturday, January 28, 2012

Mast Brothers Chocolate The Brooklyn Blend

2.5oz bar
Ingredients: Cacao, cane sugar

This past fall I took a long-awaited trip to the East Coast to see friends, and a buddy in New York City introduced me to Brooklyn's own Mast Brothers Chocolate. Sad to say we didn't have time to visit the company's tasting room, but I did come home with two bars, and this week I'll tackle the aptly-named Brooklyn Blend, one of a small assortment of the usual sorts of bars (spicy, coffee, salt, nut, etc.). This bar is just plain 74% chocolate, and the copy describes it as having “hints of plum, tobacco and earth.” Leaving aside the lack of an Oxford comma (it just doesn't sound right that way!), is that description borne out by my taste buds?

Corporate Info: Mast Brothers is based in hipster-soaked Williamsburg, Brooklyn, and the eponymous brothers do fit the description. The company's website doesn't go into many details about the operation itself, but it does link to articles that describe the process as bean-to-bar and at least partially organic and direct trade. (If you're really interested, follow through on those links to see photos and much more on Mast Brothers.) Reviews seem to be love-it-or-hate-it regarding the taste, prices, and aesthetic of the chocolate, and indeed a lot of the press seems to be related to its uniquely patterned packaging. Mast Brothers' products are available mostly in New York, but also in select high-end food stores around the country.

Appearance: Mostly matte, and a bit pale as dark chocolate goes. (Also broken, but this happened to all the chocolate I brought back from NYC in my tightly packed suitcase.)

Smell: Pretty basic. Warm, with a nutmeg vibe and notes of caramelized raisin.

Taste: Different! Flavor is light, sweet-tart like juicy orange citrus or, sure, maybe plum. I could definitely get earthy from it. I'm not a smoker so I don't know about tobacco, but I could see something fresh and green (it doesn't say dried to me), though not smoky at all. Very little bitterness or tannins. In normal-person language, it's kind of tart and refreshing. Texture is chalky and thick—not in a bad, powdery way but also not waxy or anything like that. When you try to break off one piece it fractures into several small chunks, and it tastes a little crumbly too.

Conclusion: Mast Brothers Chocolate The Brooklyn Blend is light and tart, with a somewhat chalky texture.

[Update 2/4/12: Since I wrote this, Mast Brothers' website has changed and now I can't find a "where to buy" list that covers brick-and-mortar stores. I'm leaving the link in case they change it back.]

1 comment:

  1. To quote Vampire Weekend, 'who gives a f*** about an Oxford Comma?' Sorry, that song's always stuck in my head:P

    I haven't had this bar, but I've enjoyed everything I've had by Mast Brothers in the past. I too would love to visit their tasting room, but alas, it hasn't happened yet !