Despite protestations to the contrary, the Mast Brothers are finally coming clean about their use of industrial chocolate in the early days of their operation. Days after being very publicly outed, the brothers admitted to the Times that they remelted chocolate "in some of their early creations," during a time they call "a fun experimental year." Rick Mast adds that they said as much "to anyone that asked."
With the chocolate industry's "open secret" now made public, it now comes down to whether or not shoppers care about the past obfuscation or whether that fancy packaging will still persuade them to drop $10 on a candy bar.
— Nick Zukin (@extramsg) December 16, 2015
As for the rest of the industry, many have already made up their minds about the "inedible" product.
Guardian "Food Snob" Dave Bry has also penned a lengthy takedown of the Mast Brothers' chocolate. Bry taste-tested three Mast offerings alongside two other craft chocolate offerings and a bar of Hershey's Special Dark.
All the Mast bars were far too chalky and bitter. The almond one tasted like bark. Or, I guess, the shells of cacao beans. The not-quite-finely-ground-enough shells of cacao beans? Is that what kept catching in my throat as I swallowed? Whatever it was, it kinda hurt.
Goat’s milk chocolate, meanwhile, tasted like cheese. The funky, distinctly mature taste of a product made out of protein that comes from a barnyard animal. It had that funk, that sweaty-gym-sock sourness that we who like funky cheese appreciate very much in a cheese. I like that always-sort-of-disgusting taste a lot! I am an adventurous eater!
Admittedly, Bry isn't a fan of one of the alternate craft offerings, calling it "intensely acidic," but enjoyed the second, proving not all craft chocolate has to be off-putting. At the end, Hershey's wins for him, despite its sweet, vaguely chemical taste; it's "a balm for a throat scraped raw by jagged shards of cacao bean shells."