I was lucky to have a nibble on some Mast Brothers Chocolate when I was in Paul A. Young’s shop a couple of months ago when he’d just taken delivery of a few boxes of it. I only managed to get a small piece, but even then I could tell it was very promising. Now I’ve managed to get my hands on a couple at the heftily priced bars – at £8.95 for just about 70g, which may put off a good number of people. But we’re not talking any old rubbish here. We’re talking chocolate made by hand, in small quantities and by a couple of very unique people.
I’m in love with how they package their chocolate. It’s just so damn classy with a quacker edge that just oozes quality and sophistication. When you put this next to a bar of Demarquette chocolate which is just a Pound less then I bet 99% of people would choose the Mars Brother’s Bars, they’re like chalk and cheese in terms of appeal.
When you unpeel the wrapper which isn’t the easiest thing to do, you’ll notice a fairly tight gold-foil encased bar of chocolate which keeps the excitement going.
But it’s the flavour that does most of the talking. I actually forgot I’d chosen this bar over the 72% Fleur de Sel bar which is an unflavoured bar so was surprised to see such liberal flakes of almond which almost covered its entire surface.
I just love chocolate that either covers all bases in terms of flavour, or just does one flavour exceptionally well. This bar is certainly the former. It seems that the all four corners of a taste square have been covered. The almonds give it a mellow, cardboardy taste which combats the slightly sweet chocolate flavour; which in turn plays against the acidic, piquancy of the salt which, in turn, slides up against the well rounded flavour of the olive oil which comes to the fore as the chocolate starts to melt.
There is a downside to this bar. It’s that only at the very beginning, and occasionally throughout the experience, do you actually get to taste the 81% chocolate itself. It’s like a summer’s day when it starts off sunny in the morning and the clouds roll in and you’re only able to glimpse at its rays spasmodically throughout the day.
Although this bar isn’t a riot of flavours, there’s nothing that contradicts or clashes, it’s just the chocolate taste doesn’t take enough of the stage. That’s not to say this bar isn’t good. It’s more of an Alan Bennet compared to the randomness of a child’s Christmas Panto or the bombasticity of a Ben Elton play.
As we’re in the throes of a political onslaught, it’s important to see this chocolate bar in that light. This isn’t a mass market bar. It’s not a New Labour working class bar, it’s not even a safe Conservative Party bar; it’s a funky bar. Would it Nick Clegg bar? No. It’d be a party of its own. Non-partizan, non-pretentious and nothing like you’ve tasted before.
I can’t really give it top marks as I didn’t get the wow factor I was hoping for. I did get a nice chocolate ride into an intriguing chocolate kingdom. But, would I go back? Well of course.