Stylized origami-like designs of animals festoon the wrappers of Omnom’s organic chocolate bars in a winsome way. Each 60 gram bar, and there are seven to choose from, is encased in a hard cardboard reclosable envelope. The identifying paper sleeve has a multi-colored modernist drawing of a wolf’s head. I am already thinking of ways to re-purpose the envelopes. Bookmarks? Funky postcards? Or, open them up, connect them to each other and create a small abstract piece of art. As the background colors are subtle and elegant, this would be quite appealing, especially framed.
The company is based in Reykjavík, Iceland. Kjartan Gíslason, a chef-turned-chocolatier, is co-owner of Omnom Chocolate. With his three friends (Óskar Þórðarson, Karl Viggó Vigfússon, André Úlfur Visage) he has been creating beautiful chocolate bars out of a disused gas station. They source their organic chocolate from Madagascar, Papa New Guinea and the Dominican Republic.
If you were wondering about the name, it’s the sound the Cookie Monster makes: om nom nom.
I love the way each bar is scored into 24 small rectangular bites. The plain ones are comprised of only cacao, cacao butter and raw cane sugar, while the milk varieties contain Icelandic milk.
The aroma from the 70% Papua New Guinea bar is a heady concoction of leather, soil, tobacco, and coffee. After that initial fragrant fix I was expecting something a bit tannic, to say the least. Instead, I was met with a very smooth, gentle dark fruit and leather flavor profile whose lingering finish was redolent with what the chocolatier calls “buttery bourbon.” I could eat this well-tempered ebony bar all day.
The 66% Madagascar chocolate is lighter in color and intensity. It has a definite fruity presence enhanced by a slightly dry finish. Just to make matters a tad more complex, it leaves earthy afterimages on your tongue.
The Milk Madagascar, 41%, is quite rich and creamy, almost butterscotch in appearance.
Sea Salted Almonds with Milk, 45%, plays the added tang of salt against a lovely roasted flavor from the nuts. Again, a very smooth chocolate that is noteworthy for its gentleness on the palate.
Dark Milk with Burned Sugar, 55%, takes you on a supremely milky ride. It’s a subtle trip with a stop to Caramel Street. Naturally, Icelandic cows make Icelandic milk, which has a different taste from milk in the US. It’s slightly sweet, with a little less fatty mouth feel.
Lakkris, 38%, is made with 3% raw licorice and sea salt. Of the milk bars it is by far the most interesting and unusual. The combination of super-velvety light milk chocolate with sea salt and licorice is seductive and compelling.
Their Dirty Blonde bar is a 35% white chocolate with a unique almost smokey caramel taste. If you love white chocolate, this would be intriguing.
Do you know a chocophile who craves new tastes from organic bean-to-bar manufacturers? If so, Omnom is a great addition to their chocolate experience.
You can buy the bars individually or as a set of seven from their website.