Friday, March 23, 2012


The Art of Crafts in Williamsburg

By Jonathan Levitt

At MAST BROTHERS CHOCOLATE FACTORY raw cacao beans from small cooperatives are hand-sorted, roasted, mixed with organic cane sugar or maple syrup, crushed with granite stones, aged, tempered, and hand-wrapped first in gold foil, then in heavy paper locally printed with patterns designed at the factory. The chocolate is dark and bitter, floral and complex - an acquired taste. Brothers Rick and Michael Mast started crafting chocolate in their apartment in Greenpoint, winnowing chaff with a hair dryer and roasting beans in their oven. The factory feels like a larger version of that. Last year they chartered a 70-foot schooner to transport a 20-metric-ton load of beans from the Dominican Republic and sailed it back to Brooklyn. The brothers and their crew made the wind-powered trip in 14 days.

 "The chocolate is dark and bitter, floral and complex"