If you would have asked me in the past (pre-2016) what Iceland was known for, I would have said, “Ice, naturally. Oh, and volcanoes.” (Such a contrast!) “And chess masters. Also, beautiful landscapes. Unless I’m mixing it up with Ireland. No, I’m pretty sure they’re both known for stunning landscapes.” Ask me now, and I’ll tell you a neat thing about Iceland: Omnom Chocolate
Intrigued by a number of factors (the novelty of bean-to-bar chocolate being made in Iceland, the reports of Omnom’s creative packaging, and the flavor “Dark Milk”, Omnom ended up very high on my list of must-try craft chocolates.
People aren’t kidding when they say Omnom’s packaging is pretty incredible. After slipping (or, in my case, snipping) off the outer band, the next step is to pause a moment to admire the graphics on the box. The box itself is easy peasy to open; simply slip one of the points out of the slit and voila…it practically unwraps itself to reveal the foil, which happens to be printed with the same wolf design as the logo.
The foil gives way to neat little squares, the kind I like best (more to share!). My little squares of Dark Milk with Burned Sugar weren’t very photogenic, which happens to a large percentage of the chocolate that calls itself mine. It is not the manufacturer’s fault. This chocolate had to travel between 3,000 and 4,000 miles from Iceland to the United States to be sold (at which point it was probably still very photogenic), and then another 3,000 and 4,000 to me (at which point it was traveling toward the equator, which means the rate of being photogenic decreases every time the temperature increases). Chocolates don’t get along very well with the equator, in my experience.
Thankfully, the appearance of chocolate has absolutely nothing to do with its taste. I let it melt on my tongue…it was deliciously smooth, thanks in part to the added cocoa butter, no doubt…and was initially surprised. Somewhere I’d read that Icelandic milk powder wasn’t as “tame” as the milk a lot of us are used to, so I half expected a “rangy” milk taste akin to goat milk. Additionally, with a name like “Burnt Sugar”, my best guess was that I would be tasting a toasted, very sweet but slightly odd milk chocolate.
The actual taste of this bar (at least to me) turned out to be far more subtle. In reality, it was not as sweet as most milk chocolates I’ve tried (and no, I’m not just comparing this bar to milk chocolate candy bars from the grocery store). The milk flavor was also muted and certainly not strong or strange (which was, admittedly, a relief). The flavor was overall very satisfying, sophisticated, and definitely something I wouldn’t mind have seconds of. Or thirds.
Now, the question is: Am I brave enough to try Omnom’s Lakkris and Sea Salt someday? (New word of the day: “Lakkris” is Icelandic for “Licorice”.) I like licorice, and “creamy caramelised chocolate spiced with raw Persian liquorice and finished with sprinkles of sea salt, harvested from the West Fjords of Iceland” sounds quite intriguing too…