Mast Brothers (oh my bearded Brooklyn!)

Mast Brothers is the first bean-to-bar chocolate maker in New York and luckily it’s not in one of those posh neighborhoods in Manhattan, but in the self-proclaimed “hipster capital” of Brooklyn. And like its neighborhood, the Mast Brothers chocolate factory is quite an interesting, friendly place (OK, some hipster-haters1 might not like it so much, but who cares). Their chocolate bar designs, or better their style in general is very pretty. All their chocolate bars are wrapped in beautifully designed paper mostly with very characteristic minimalistic, geometrical layouts.

Mast Brothers and impressions from BrooklynPretty chocolates at the Mast Brothers factory in Brooklyn…

They offer free samples of the chocolate bars they sell, so you will quickly get a good impression of their way of making chocolate. And, you also don’t have to buy some bars only because they look nice.

I liked the taste and flavor of several of their bars, but to be honest, the slightly grainy texture was not really to my liking2. That’s too bad, because it is virtually impossible to fully disentangle the textural experience from the flavor-sensory one3. Given their style, neighborhood, design, and hipster bonus I was a bit disappointed that I simply couldn’t find it very exciting –although I think that I actually wanted to.

Given that I am not yet a master-chocolatier-super-tasting-expert-guru, I was very interested to see how others found Mast Brothers’ chocolates. Well, that’s probably best summarized as a (sometimes polarized) mixed bag. Some like, some love it. Other bloggers have a (sophisticated) mixed feeling. And guess what, some find it quite disappointing.

Anyway, maybe better try it yourself. Or enjoy (or hate, whatever you want) their website or blog. There is also an overly theatric, but nevertheless mouth-watering and entertaining advertisement clip about the Mast brothers (nice footage, just ignore the terribly overdone music…).

I can’t end more melodramatic. So, stop.

  1. Comments on their chocolate seem most of the time far from objective and are divided into everything-hipster-like-must-be-greats and frustrated hipster-haters []
  2. Just to make that clearer, I still think they make very good chocolates, clearly much richer, more complex and interesting than what I had at Taza’s chocolate factory, which –by the way- produced MUCH grainier chocolate. []
  3. Yeah yeah, I know, I am not a distinguished world-famous master chocolate bar reviewer… but come on, don’t pretend that there is any entirely objective way to judge food or flavor quality. Chocolate (as any other food) is not the sum of what is spotted by our taste buds and flavor receptors, how well-trained they might be. Food perception will always be a blend of all senses involved which certainly involves the food’s texture, but also (unless in blind-tastings) its visual appearance and (unless on ear plugs) sound quality. To come back to the Mast brothers: For me, smooth creaminess is simply a much better vehicle to transport the rich flavors that the chocolate (hopefully) contains.   []

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