It’s easy to attribute all of the negative comments to resentment from other chocolate makers—Mast Brothers gets incredible press from a range of publications all over the world. Ecole Chocolat posted a response on our Facebook page shortly after the release of the full series of blog posts. The return to artisanal food and buying products made locally instead of those made by large, multi-national companies was just beginning. He asked the then-beardless brothers about their sourcing since he had had trouble getting cocoa beans from Trinidad himself. In the chocolate community, the suspicions of remelting began early. On the phone with Alan McClure, founder of Patric Chocolate, a craft chocolate company formed in 2006, in the spring of 2008, Rick Mast admitted that they had used some remelted Valrhona chocolate but weren’t doing it any longer. Controversy: The blogger said the brothers had used another brand of chocolate in some early batches. ), These accounts contradict the statement from the Mast Brothers PR team which stated, “We made our chocolate from ‘bean to bar’ when we started.” Similarly, in a response to an inquiry from Grub Street, the Mast Brothers wrote, “Needless to say, we were then and are now a bean to bar chocolate maker.”, Eventually, however, experts believe that Michael and Rick Mast did start making at least some of their own chocolate, and as Scott explains, the quality of their bars dropped. On December 7, Scott Craig of Dallasfood.org released part one of his four-part series entitled “Mast Brothers: What Lies Behind the Beards”, with the rest of the series following shortly after. They will hopefully encourage consumers to ask more questions about the products they are buying and look beyond the marketing. Makers are happy to share what they know to help each other out. This was further illustrated by an unfortunate article “Here’s How Mast Brother’s Stands Up Against The Big Ones”, the big ones being Hershey, Lindt, Godiva, Cadbury and Valrhona. Chocolate experts are ”really unhappy that the brand has grown as a result of misleading people,” says Gordon. “Yet the fact remains that they are one of the craft chocolate world’s great ambassadors.”. Mast Brothers repeatedly declined to answer specific questions. Making chocolate from the bean costs substantially more — in time, labor, raw materials, space requirements, and equipment — than remelting and molding bulk chocolate from an industrial producer. But there is evidence that at least some of their early production involved remelting chocolate bought from Valrhona, a commercial French chocolate manufacturer. In response, the Mast Brothers acknowledged using couverture in the past, but said they were open about the practice at the time. Our intention isn’t to repeat what has already been said, but to share our own insights as the fine chocolate industry works to understand the implications of this issue for the future. You don’t have to make your own chocolate yourself to be credible and sell a great product. Ann Larie Valentine via Flickr/CC BY-SA 2.0, it had expanded another 3,000 square feet, practices like child labor and rainforest clearing. Please don’t post questions in the comments to a blog post as we want to keep the conversation focused on the posting’s topic. “The cocoa beans are virtually mistreated by the Mast Brothers.”, Mark Christian of the C-Spot, a chocolate review website, was slightly kinder in his overall assessment, telling Quartz that it swings from good to bad. : the blogger said the mast brothers chocolate controversy experimented with different types of chocolate lovingly. Every Day hate something that people involved in actually making chocolate from the bean,.. 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