In the chocolate world I'll come across fantastic chocolate makers that few, apart from those that spend their life looking for them, hear about. Whilst you'll also find other chocolate makers that know how to play the PR game and know how to push all the right buttons. For me a prime example of the latter is Mast Brothers. When they launched they knew exactly how to create an air of exclusivity; of uniqueness; of being hip, cool and the preserve of people that knew about chocolate. I won't go as far as to say their chocolate is all smoke and mirrors as I feel they have progressed since their initial internal ethos, but I still feel that there are far greater chocolate makers in the US that almost nobody has heard of - most notably Finca.
Seemingly there is a new US chocolate maker coming to the market, and that's a beautiful thing. It puts pressure on the more established makers to 'up' their game. To keep producing innovative, ethical, superb chocolate. So what of this Belize from the very well established, maker Mast - who could even be considered as a 'grown up' in the market? It must be known that I absolutely adore (generally) chocolate made from Belizean cocoa - from less commercialised sources at least. Names such as Moho, Cotton Tree and the Belize Chocolate Company just make me salivate. So what of this more commercial chocolate? The aroma is heavy on tobacco and dates. It has a pushy saline edge that I have to be in the mood for. Today I don't think I am.
The texture is granular as it appears they've focused more on intensity and 'authenticity' rather than a sublime, Domori-like texture. I'm rather partial to coarse texture, not least with Dolceria Bonajuto, but here it seems to be a half-way house, an unsatisfactory compromise.
The flavours too seem to be a mix of figs and raw mushrooms and then followed by strawberry. It’s a perfectly pleasant experience, but nothing that would make me want to explore their range further. There's nothing inherently wrong with it, it's just a very 'safe' chocolate.