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Mast Brothers Chocolate

May 12, 2010

New York City’s only “bean to bar” chocolate maker, the Mast Brothers converted an 100-year old factory in Williamsburg (where else?) into a workshop for handmade chocolate bars. Combining their loves for travel, photography and cacao, the brothers made several trips to South America and Africa before starting their venture. Now, they source their beans from family farms and coops around the world including Madagascar, Venezuela, the Dominican Republic and Ecuador. Rick Mast previously worked in restaurants around New York City (including Gramercy Tavern and SoHo House) and Michael Mast worked in film prior to pursuing their shared passion for chocolate. My first bar was the Dark Chocolate + Fleur de Sel combination and I could feel the grainy bits of sea salt on my tongue. At first I was skeptical, but the salt really brought out the flavor of the cacao and made it tantalizingly tasty. On top of the allure of trying new chocolate, I could hardly resist the beautiful packaging (which is only further enhanced by the lovely gold foil inside).

Their delicious concoctions are available at Dean & Deluca, Eli’s, Whole Foods and Murray’s Cheese (which is how I found it, at Grand Central Market). Visit their website here to order bars or learn more about the homegrown company. Of course, they also have a Facebook page. And if you’re inspired to try the combination of salt and chocolate out at home, there is an amazing chocolate chip recipe adapted from Jacques Torres (the chocolate maker Rick Mast was previously apprenticed to) here on the NYTimes.

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