I went to a chocolate factory, and it was epic. Here's what went down.
Last Sunday, 10 AM. Mast Brothers Chocolate, Brooklyn:
Hairnets and aprons go on.
Saw a cocoa bean and tasted some nibs.
Learned about the sorting process and the special machine used to separate the nibs from the husks.
Watched the nibs being grinded down in the conche.
Tried the chocolate from the conche.
(Apparently Mast Bothers never adds extra cocoa butter, so It's just the nibs and sugar - added a few hours later - that are processed in the conches. Each batch goes for about three days. The chocolate is then poured in to huge vats and left to cool. The blocks of chocolate are wrapped up and left to mellow and develop for a few months.)
The Sort and Conch
Saw some meteorite/moon-matter chocolate chunks.
(The chocolate is broken down with an ice-pick-esque tool and loaded into the tempering machine. After it's all melted down, recombined and tempered, the chocolate is poured into molds. Additional add-ins are sprinkled on at this stage, and then the chocolate bars are put in a fridge to cool.)
Wanted to Augustus Gloop it in the luxurious chocolatey goodness.
(The cooled down chocolate bars are wrapped in a special wrapping machine, and the labels are stuck on by hand.)
Tried more chocolate. Got 15% off in the store.
Bought chocolate. Bought more chocolate.
Mast Brothers Chocolate Factory
11 N 3rd St.
New York, NY 11211
Mon - Sat: 10:00 am - 7:00 pm
Sun: 10:00 am - 5:00 pm