Last summer, Sarah wrote about how there was something about the Mast Brothers that really bugged her. The above video (from The Scout) may help her put her finger on what that was, exactly. It details the hirsute Williamsburg chocolate artisans’ plans to set sail for the Dominican Republic in search of cacao beans, presumably carried by the swells of their lofty ideals.
“We’re very attracted to the water because of what’s unknown about it,” says Rick Mast (the one with the bigger, redder beard) as the camera fixates on the unknown contents of the East River. As worshipful choir music builds quietly in the background, Mast continues to wax poetic about how he and his brother, as chocolate makers, “are constantly trying to reconnect” with their “childlike curiosity.”
But that’s not all! Their chocolate, obviously, “represents more than just a candy bar. It represents a new way of handcrafting food.” As well as “Mark Twain stories of adventure and childlike curiosity” (again!). Also, it’s a manifestation of the brothers’ “fiercely independent, almost Emersonian spirit.” Which, in case you didn’t understand, has a “literary quality,” according to Michael, the slightly less-bearded Mast.
Not so incidentally, the video reveals that Rick Mast wears a beard net while he’s making his Emersonian, Twainian creations. But while that might protect us from any follicular mutiny, there’s little to shield viewers from his reverent descriptions of the butcher paper that is used to package their bars, which are “simply, carefully, and originally hand-wrapped.”
We love Emerson, we love Twain, we love childlike curiosity, we love water, and we love chocolate — the darker and more bittersweet, the better. But having viewed this, we now want a Hershey’s bar in the worst way possible.
This article from the Village Voice Archive was posted on July 27, 2010