August 3, 2012

The Source




I happened upon this beautiful series of videos about the Mast Brothers Chocolate company in Brooklyn. The striking videos and the story of these brothers, their American Craft Chocolate, and their creative mission really struck a cord with me this week. (You can read more about why in this dramatic rant.)

The Mast Brothers make American Craft Chocolate. They select the beans from only the finest cacao farmers in the Dominican Republic. They painstakingly perfect their recipes and constantly try new combinations and flavors. They hand wrap the bars in vintage-style papers, printed on a restored printing press, featuring unique artwork from local artists. They even use their own sailboat, The Black Seal, to import the beans (read more about that here) along the East Coast.

My absolute love of chocolate aside, I am inspired by this company's dedication to their craft, specifically their focus on knowing the source of their product. Do you ever peel a banana, or defrost a chicken breast, or in this case unwrap a chocolate bar, and wonder where it started? I do. And sometimes, I try not to. The state of our nation's agricultural and farming industries is just so depressing I can't even venture broaching the subject here. But this craft chocolate, this I can get on board with. Literally, I could learn to sail . . .

How ridiculously cool is it that I can unwrap and relish a hand-crafted chocolate bar with this kind of story? With each bite tasting the thought, imagination, and human effort that went into its very making. Knowing the beans boarded a sailboat bound for Brooklyn, to end up a delicacy. I love everything about it and everything they stand for. How different would our overall health and sense of worldwide community be if more food was produced in this way? We can't even remember when milk was delivered daily to our front doorstep. My hope is that we are shifting back towards those priorities of quality, freshness, and locality, in all our food products.

I wanted a taste of this story.


It was so worth it.

"As opposed to the goal being consistency and mass distribution, we're looking for - in a way - an inconsistent product. So your taste buds are not only enjoying the sensuality of it, but they are also learning. You know, your brain is learning something, while you eat it."  Rick Mast



As always, you can join me the other days of the week at alittlewhitenoise.

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