It was the wrapping paper on Brooklyn’s Mast Brothers chocolate that first caught my eye in SoHo’s Dean & Deluca: ravishing Florentine florals stickered with simple, urban typography. After loading up my basket with the $10-a-bar artisanal confectionery, I was delighted to discover that it tastes as radical and as marvellous as it looks. Their 72 per cent Madagascar cocoa with fleur de sol has an arrestingly dark and wickedly salty style with a rich berry taste, while a bar with truffle is as sumptuous as it is left-field.
The Mast Brothers – New York City’s only “bean-to-bar” producers – work out of a small factory in Williamsburg. They are archetypal bushy-bearded Brooklyn hipsters who blog about the local live music scene, and dress like high-fashion Amish, but their work has serious form: one half of the duo cut his teeth with chocolatier Jacques Torres. They first toted their own artfully styled wares at the Williamsburg Artists & Fleas market, but it’s fast becoming a cult, albeit a fairly exclusive one, in extremely limited, lovingly crafted quantities.