Mast Brothers 72% Madagascar With Fleur de Sel

Posted by in Chocolate Reviews on April 6 2010 | Leave A Comment
Mast Brothers 72% Madagascar With Fleur de Sel

In chocolate-tasting circles, the name ‘Mast Brothers‘ is spoken with quiet reverence. Two brothers from Brooklyn who have somehow managed to make – I’m told by reliable sources – some of the best chocolate in the world.

I had to find out for myself, so I ventured to the only place outside New York that sells it, Paul A. Young’s shop. The shop was heaving with Easter chocolate hunters, all intent on picking up such delights as sea salted caramel eggs, but I only wanted one thing. Mast Brothers.

Other shoppers looked at me strangely when I asked the assistant. But she knew. The chocolate is not on display in the shop, so she ventured downstairs and came back with the last two bars they had. This Fleur de Sel bar and Coffee one.

I paid £8.95 each for these 70g bars. Probably the most I’ve paid for a bar of chocolate, yet somehow they seemed worth it from the start. The packaging is beautiful. Printed on thick, simply patterned paper with the logo carefully glued on separately, as with the ingredients on the back.

Mast Brothers 72% Madagascar With Fleur de Sel

Inside, the bar itself is beautifully wrapped in gold foil. It looks and feels like a gold bar. Somehow I knew I wasn’t going to be disappointed.

Unwrap it and you’re immediately greeted by an intense, fruity aroma.

Mast Brothers 72% Madagascar With Fleur de Sel

The chocolate itself has a nice finish. Attractive and glossy without being overly shiny. There’s no bubbles in the chocolate, but you can tell from the edges that this has been hand molded, rather than produced by some machine that makes perfect bars every time.

The underside reveals the Fleur de Sel. Tiny grains of salt that don’t look much, but significantly alter the nature of this bar.

The bar is thin, but feels solid and snaps with a satisfying click. Place a square on your tongue and suddenly your mouth is filled with amazing flavours.

Mast Brothers 72% Madagascar With Fleur de Sel

It might seem strange, the flavours you get depend on which way up you place the chocolate on your tongue. Place it salt side down, and you’re immediately hit by the intensity of the fleur de sel as the small crystals dissolve quickly. The salt flavour briefly overwhelms the chocolate, but it’s a much more rounded flavour than a table salt and quickly fades back.

Personally I love it that way, but if you’re less keen on getting that initial burst of salt flavour, place the square the other way up and the chocolate and fleur de sel melt and release their flavours much more evenly.

And what flavours they are. I’ve always been a particular fan of the light, fruity flavour of Madagascan beans. Up to now, Amano’s Madagascan bar has been my favourite dark chocolate of all time. Up to now.

This bar has three ingredients. Cacao, cane sugar and fleur de sel. Yet it is the most intensely flavoured dark chocolate I’ve ever had. It’s sweet, fruity, zingy and chocolatey, and I absolutely love it. It really is quite hard to believe that so much flavour can come from three such simple ingredients. That’s a reflection not only of the ingredients themselves, but of the expertise and love that’s gone into making the chocolate.

Some might find the salt a little too intense, but I think it’s an essential part of this bar. Not only does it add a unique flavour of its own, but it lifts the cocoa flavours to a new level.

I’m really looking forward to trying the rest of the Mast Brothers range (when I can afford it!), but for now, this is my new favourite chocolate.

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Comments On This Post

  1. Wayne

    And I thought I’d found the Holy Grail of chocolatiers with Michel Cluizel.. maybe I’ll have to think again!

  2. ooohooh, I think I’ve got you beat! I just spent 8.10 euros on 50g of Amadei Porcelana. (And another 6.90 on the Chuao. And 6.35 on 90g of fancy torrone. But it’s my last day in Florence, it’s allowed!)

    And now I’m going to try and further break the bank by attempting to buy this while I’m in New York for two days (en route to home, sadly!). The plethora of sea salt chocolate bars on my blog can attest to my love for this combination… and your glowing review makes this a hopefully-must-find.

    Did you get the coffee one too? I’m also a fan of coffee chocolate…

  3. Gee…I’m feeling very pedestrian in my chocolate taste!

  4. Dom (Chocablog Staff)

    Hannah.. .wait… you mean you actually have a real home somewhere? I always just assumed you were on a never ending adventure!

    And yes, I got the coffee one.

    Pam – this is actually a very simple chocolate. Three ingredients. Everyone I’ve shared it with (reluctantly) so far agrees it’s just really, really nice.

  5. I wish!! (Actually, in all honesty, after spending all day on planes and having been up for 20 hours already today, and with that not even being the long-haul flight back to Australia… I’m very much looking forward to “real home”)

    But best try to get some sleep so I have the energy for New York chocolate hunting! :P

  6. Amy

    The perfect reason for me to pay NY a visit soon! Seriously, I’m intrigued.

  7. Laura

    Once again, I wish that Paul A. Young had a mail delivery service! I’d love to try some Mast Brothers chocolate; this bar, especially, sounds divine.

  8. Hi Laura,

    Drop us an email or give us a ring and we can easily arrange to get some sent out to you. info@paulayoung.co.uk / 020 7424 5750

    Be quick or we’ll sell out though – we only have tiny quantities.

    Bests,

    James.
    – Paul A Young Fine Chocolates

  9. ajit bhai....

    i like these chocolates … it is very sweet?