Fjåk is Norway's first bean-to-bar chocolate maker. They offer a range of single origin and inclusion bars.
Aroma: licorice, anise, floral, spices, dried figs
Flavor: banana bread, fried plantains, mellow fruitiness, not super tangy, red wine, brown sugar. The flavor is pleasant, mild, and fades quickly.
Recommendation: Recommended with reservations. It is pleasant, but I liked the brightness and intensity of flavor in the India bars from Solstice and French Broad better.
Batch info: Best by September 2021
Nicaragua Chuno 70% Double turned
Aroma: cocoa butter, hint of cinnamon, macadamia nuts, unroasted seeds, cocoa powder,
Flavor: Super smooth and mellow from what I assume is a high percentage of cocoa butter. Flavors are mild, but pleasant: faint licorice, molasses, dusty earth, faint berries, black olive. Warming brings out soft notes of dried cherry and cranberry, also a Nutella-like nutty creaminess. It made a lovely drinking chocolate with hints of citrus zest and a delicate bitterness – probably one of the best drinking chocolates I have ever had.
Recommendation: Recommended. Flavors are subtle, but if you give them enough time, they expand beautifully – make sure to taste slowly and take a sip of hot water beforehand, because if you don’t give it time to melt it will seem bland and waxy! I think this is why it works so well as a drinking chocolate, because it does not become overly bitter or acidic when warmed, which some chocolates do. It retails for around $20 in the US, which is a bit pricey but note that it is a full 100g bar.
Batch info: 31 December 2021
OmNom is based in a converted gas station in Reykjavik, Iceland where two childhood friends make a handful of single origin bars, classic inclusion bars such as caramel, coffee, and almond, and less common bars such as licorice (very popular in Scandinavia) and burnt barley (evidently popular somewhere).
Aroma: licorice, anise, prunes, raisins, port, molasses, cherry, burned rubber
Flavor: Very sweet and fruity, a symphony of berries builds, starts with earthy flavors that give way to fruit. Lactic and berry notes but little complexity. Sweet, some fruity notes emerge, nice base chocolate flavor. Grainy texture and not melting smoothly – sugar bloom? Sort of a rustic fruity/tangy flavor.
Recommendation: Recommended with reservations. It did have a nice fruitiness, but there are better Madagascar bars available for the same price. It's possible that poor handling lead to the grainy texture and faded flavor - I will assess other Omnom bars in the coming weeks.
Batch info: Best before September 12, 2019
Aroma: soft aroma – raisins, figs, molasses, raspberry jam, creamy vanilla pudding, green apple, floury cookies, dried raspberry, dried cranberries
Flavor: brown fruit, faint licorice, creamy rice pudding, marshmallow, raspberry, caramel, medium-dark honey, buckwheat, dried figs. A buttery richness emerges when the chocolate it sufficiently warm.
Recommendation: Recommended. A really nice mix of fruitiness and richness.