Monday, August 2, 2010
Mast Brothers Chocolate: Dark Chocolate and Cocoa Nibs
Ok, so I've more or less failed in the "no repeats" department. But when I first Knew the Mast Brothers they were just a couple of bearded hipsters who quoted Walt Whitman -- and look at them now! Appearing on the Cooking Channel and supplying major eateries. Just last month Shake Shack used Mast Brothers Chocolate in a special Independence Day concrete. I figured these brothers had earned themselves a bit more attention. And plus, I had one leftover Mast Brothers bar from my birthday.
Mast Brothers: Dark Chocolate + Cocoa Nibs
Cocoa content: 72%
Notable ingredients: cocoa nibs
Mast Brothers basically gets right to the point, zeroing in on the 72% cocoa jackpot that I've talked about previously -- most of their bars use that proportion of cocoa solids but they end up all tasting pretty different -- and having varying levels of sweetness, even -- as a result of the mix-ins. This bar, for instance, was made earthier and less sweet due to the addition of roasted cocoa nibs. These were some really fun nibs. They were cracked and pulverized and scattered across the underside of the bar to create a jagged, brittle texture. They looked almost like shards of nut shell.
And thank God those nibs were fun, because the Mast Brothers need to have more fun and need to blend more of it into their chocolates. This task I give myself to Know all chocolates that cross my path, it's hard enough; the least these apron-wearing goofballs could do is lighten the single-origin mood a little bit. Honestly, I find the chocolate slightly too bitter on its own and this is why I question Mast Brothers's ever-increasing popularity -- it's no chocolate of the people, yet. Nibs are fun, salted almonds are fun, Stumptown coffee beans are fun if a bit pretentious, but I'm waiting for a bit of sugar or a dried fruit or a less intimidating bean.
This bar's grade is very slightly elevated for the packaging, beautiful as always: B+.