Holy crap. This is the most ridiculously funky chocolate I have ever tasted. Picture this: you’ve pitched an army-surplus canvas tent and then you break open several hundred cigarettes and spread the tobacco over the ground inside the tent. Zipper the tent closed. Now lie down on the bed of tobacco. Breath in deep. Got that aroma? Now you’re starting to understand the experience of this dark chocolate.
Before I go any further, let’s back up a bit. Omnom is a relatively new chocolate brand from Iceland. They’re possibly the only bean-to-bar maker in Iceland. Omnom is using organic beans from a handful of tropical origins – some as single-origin bars and some apparently as blends. They’re distinguishing themselves with eye-catching package artwork and unique flavor profiles.
WHAT: Omnom Papua New Guinea 70% Cacao. 60 g (2.1 oz). Ingredients: Organic cacao beans, raw cane sugar, cocoa butter.
Where to buy Omnom Papua New Guinea.
WHEN: November 30, 2014
OVERALL RATING: 82.
AROMA: Potent tobacco, canvas, burnt grass, smoke, leather.
INITIAL IMPRESSIONS: Not just tobacco, but cigar wrapper leaf and smoke.
MIDDLE TASTE: Now the fruit appears from behind a curtain of smoke: banana, prune, kiwi, melon and molasses.
FINISH: Kiwi moves into citrus, walnuts then turns earthy and a bit astringent.
TEXTURE: These are thick bars with a little chew to them. Smooth, but not creamy.
LAST BITE: I won’t pretend. There’s no doubt some of you will hate this bar. Those of you with open minds should really try it. Look, stop thinking of chocolate making as striving to a singular point of perfection. How interesting would it be if everyone on the planet looked more or less the same? Not very. Just like diversity in people makes life interesting, so it goes with food – even chocolate.
This is to chocolate what uni is to sushi. If you’re a sushi neophyte, you don’t start with uni and it’s green-grey formless meat and pungent marine flavors. Perhaps you start with California roll or maguro and then build your way up to the pleasure of uni, if you ever get there.
Still, all the masculine notes of tobacco, leather and smoke in the Omnom Papua New Guinea dark chocolate are really over the top. I really don’t know if this is intentional or by accident. For instance if the farmers in Papua New Guinea are drying the cacao beans under the heat of a fire of some rather than on terraces under the sun, that would explain a lot. On the other hand, if this is a true expression of the terroir of the bean, that’s real cool. If it can be controlled, I say back off a bit, but don’t try to make it taste like some bland and overworked “drugstore chocolate.” That would be throwing the baby out with the bath water. Keep the funkiness and stay true to the bean.
Sure, this stuff is not for everyone. But, if you’re the type that shuns what everyone else is eating, especially tired, bland Swiss chocolate and want a unique experience, eat this bar and laugh. I did.
 The chocolate was provided to me for free by the distributor not knowing what I would do with it.