Ask any of my friends and they’d be able to confirm to you that I am a lover of good chocolate. So it is my duty to share with you my number-one chocolate store in the whole wide world: Mast Brothers Chocolate. Their Brooklyn store permeates the scent of roasting cocoa beans, so strong that it pierces through a cold winter’s frosty air. This scent may guide you like a beacon in a sea storm, and you won’t need eyes to navigate you towards the store. I went on a pilgrimage to this chocolate Mecca not so long ago, to buy my weights’ worth of the stuff. They have taken the term ‘hand crafted’ to a whole new level, by first sailing their beans from their humble origins, to sorting each sack of beans by size so that they can be roasted perfectly (no burning, no under roasted beans). Oh… and did I also mention they package by hand using hand printed paper?
Before my introduction to single origin chocolates such as these, I didn’t quite understand the minute subtleties in flavour that different chocolates could possess. I think this is because the fair trade, organic dark chocolates that I used to buy were usually shipped over and sat in shop isles for far too long, not to mention much less care was probably taken in their production process. I have come to understand that like coffee, good chocolate is super delicate and a very rare thing to come across in the world. So, when I find something as good as Mast Brothers Chocolate, I try to share the goodness amongst as many people as I can possibly tell.
My favourite single origin Mast Brothers chocolate would have to be from Madagascar; with a tasting profile that hints the fragrance of a ripe blood orange, with the fruitiness and acidity of forest berries. But… I always enjoy the way salt can compliment chocolate like their Sea Salt slab (at home I usually sprinkle a little fleur de sel on my dark chocolate, and always add salt to any chocolate dishes).
If you are ever in New York, I urge you to visit their store. It may not be a life changing experience, but it sure is one of the best stores in the world if you ask me!