OK, OK - we all know by now that Brooklyn is ground zero for New York's artisanal food movement. But a chocolate factory in the middle of so-hip-it-hurts Williamsburg is still a pretty cool prospect. Created by real-life brothers Rick and Michael Mast, this line of specialty chocolates showcases single-estate beans, sometimes mixed with equally high-quality ingredients. (Our favorites include the Maine Sea Salt and the Hazelnut, which features whole nuts rather than stingy fragments.)
Add the factory to a culinary pilgrimage to Williamsburg (other choice stops: the Bedford Cheese Shop, Marlow and Sons, St. Anselm, and Pies 'n' Thighs). The best thing? These pricey bars are more affordable at the factory than anywhere in Manhattan.
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Learn the Art of Chocolate Making
Museums in New York aren't the only place where you can channel your creative side. Head over to Brooklyn for an inside look at how chocolate is made. Open daily from 10am - 8pm, public tours are available every day. No reservations are required so you can drop in at any time and get the inside scoop (literally)! Private tours are also offered but require booking in advance.
During the tour, you'll see exactly how chocolate is made, from the sifting of the cacao beans that Mast sources from Venezuela, Madagascar and the Dominican Republic, to the colorfully creative packaging. the grand finale is the tasting. If you don't have time to stick around the tour, you can still reward yourself for the trip into Brooklyn with a few freshly-made chocolaty treats.