29 May 2012

Mast Brothers Chocolate

While many folks spend the Memorial Day weekend grilling up a storm, we at Indirect Heat often travel on long weekends. We can bbq any weekend. This year we visited the Big Apple for the long weekend. And while I'd love to report on the many food plans that we had, my report will be slightly shorter than I had hoped. We spent the last half of the weekend in our hotel room with a feverish little guy. Bbq Jr. had a fever of 103°F for much of Sunday and Monday. He was very accommodating of our adventures, but ultimately needed a lot of rest.

One of the visits we made was to Mast Brothers Chocolate.

Mast Bros

These guys are serious about chocolate. They want to deliver the message that:
Chocolate is food — not candy
I've never been a huge fan of chocolate, it's often too sweet, and single note. As a kid, I never ate chocolate bars, I found them uninteresting. Trite, even. But Mast Brothers Chocolate is something truly special. They're hidden away in a developing neighborhood in Brooklyn which is on the verge of being gentrified. But not today.

The neighborhood

Today it is a neighborhood for homeless people, hipsters and various craftsmen and women. Mast Brothers makes chocolate. They make it slowly, and they make it inefficiently. When you visit, you can watch several employees slowly folding labels for the bars. Are they paid extra to fold more slowly? Perhaps.

When you read the labels on their bars, if they are to believed, they contain little more than chocolate and sugar (or chocolate and maple sugar). If you visit, you can see the space that they use to produce chocolate.

The facility

They roast all their own beans.

Chocolate beans

And they're happy to educate you on how to make chocolate.

The process

Chocolate beans are fermented, roasted and finally ground. Mix that with sugar, and you have chocolate.

So, if you visit, you will be lucky enough to taste several of their chocolates. We had a maple chocolate, a smoked chocolate, and a single-source African chocolate. Each one of these was complex, fruity and delicious. I mean, really, really tasty. When was the last time you had a chocolate bar that gave you something to think about an hour later? And while your Mast Brothers chocolate bar costs $7 - I can't help thinking that America wouldn't be a better place if all chocolate in this country cost $7, and all of it tasted this good.

Visit them if you can:

Mast Brothers Chocolate
111 North 3rd Street
Brooklyn, NY 11249
Open 7 days, 12 p.m.-7 p.m.

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