On May 4, Steven “The Daily” Heller featured the chocolate bars made by Mast Brothers in Brooklyn. He gave them “current fave” status for taste, plus a design distinction for their wrappers. Given that I would be in The Big Apple a fortnight hence, I hastened to prevail upon J. Milgram {Our Man in Brooklyn} to pick up ultra-fresh bars at The Source and bring them to brunch in Manhattan my first morning there.

I mast say: The Florentine paper wrappers are so lovely as a set, it is molto tempting to give more than one bar. If the labels were reminiscent of Florentine bookplates, an assortment of bars would look like a chocolate library! Actually, the Mast Brothers’ two-spike crown logo is M-pressive. Caution: Flavors are identified on a large, much less attractive back label; wrapping papers are used interchangeably, so two different flavors may look like twins from the front. Here’s the link to Steven Heller’s choco-post, and here’s the link to the amusing Mast Brothers video. Three of my co-tasters rated the Mast product mmmarvelous; I don’t know whether it was too pure, too intense, or too something else for my taste.


Chocolate Lab Notes:  I had also arranged for Donna M. to come bearing gifts from The Chocolate Lab in Bethlehem, PA, which I’d experienced at That Source last Fall. Their dark chocolate-covered potato chips make a superb hors d’oeuvre {and I am not just saying that because I know how to spell hors d’oeuvre} or post-prandial snack, perfect with sparkling water. Chocolate Lab’s dark turtle with mixed nuts lived up to my rosy recollection as the Perfect Complement to a bowl of steel-cut oatmeal. A simple procedure, requiring nothing but an open mind: Simply tuck the turtle into the oatmeal and watch it melt…  I took two to  breakfast at Pain Quotidien. My companion, Elizabeth T., dissolved her turtle into her oatmeal, folding it in until the entire bowlful turned chocolate-y. I prefer to keep my turtle intact as long as possible, edging my spoonful of oatmeal with turtle fondue and an occasional nut. {Chocolate Lab’s presentation will not win Best of Any Show, but perhaps some chocolate-obsessed packaging designer will offer to work for food or client gifts.}


What is my favorite chocolate packaging, you ask?  The boxes, bags, and cotton ribbon from A la Reine Astrid in Paris. A gorgeous Deco coral – somewhere between apricot and salmon on the color buffet. The typeface seems perfectly period to me as well. The border and type are Provençal yellow – sunny, buttery, happy.  The ribbon alternates a la Reine Astrid with a lovely sentiment: les saisons du chocolat. I also love their decorative doodah, which I think might be a tiara in the shape of a croissant.

Speaking of croissant: My current favorite snacumentary is the City Bakery’s pretzel croissant video, with soundtrack by Eliza Doolittle. The big beater mixes the dough in time to “The Rain in Spain’ and “I Could Have Danced All Night.”  The City Bakers massage the dough accompanied by the swells at Ascot. I have now watched “My Fair Croissant” {my name for it} four times with non-diminishing delight.


Alyson Kuhn, the Editor of Felt & Wire, didn’t have time to visit Chocolate by the Bald Man, but she surely admired his façade!

Photos 1, 2, and 3: Donna Mugavero

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Comments (1)

  1. Posted by KrisBelucci on 06.1.09 at 6:50 pm

    da best. Keep it going! Thank you

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