I was at a chocolate conference once and Jim from Ombar was getting a load of grief about his chocolate, Ombar, being labelled as 'raw' when, during the conching process, the cocoa liquor gets up to around 40c - and that can't be called 'raw' because obviously there's still a lot of heat being produced naturally by the grinding process. I'm certainly one for making sure chocolate has the correct labelling assigned to it and that disingenuous marketing is flagged up, but thought Jim came out of it well. He knew what he was talking about and seemed absolutely determined his product should be called 'raw'. I'm of a different view. I believe it should be called unroasted as it is much more accurate. Nonetheless, as I explore unroasted, cold-pressed, and the like, chocolate I finally get to try out the very popular Ombar.
Jim's company is doing well, very well. A quick search on Google shopping shows that his Coconut 60% bar can be found in no fewer than 10 shops. It is much more likely to be thirty or forty outlets at least. This chocolate can be found in Ocado, Healthy Supplies, Planet Organic, Real Foods, Vitamins Direct UK and Buy Whole Foods Online. And that puts us into a quandary. We normally like to stock either exclusive or almost so chocolate. We normally like to be the ones that find unique chocolate and bring it to the UK market, or at least a much wider audience. It seems unrealistic that our customers wouldn't have tried this chocolate already if they are into a Paleo diet. Perhaps we can stock it with the main aim of introducing it into some of our chocolate selection boxes so that those who wish to buy 'raw chocolate gifts' and the like can be well served - especially if we can combine with less well-known unroasted makers such as Forever Cacao.
In terms of the chocolate itself, it’s labelled as vegan, organic, contains added bio-cultures, is 'raw' and contains coconut sugar instead of cane sugar. It seems that it would appeal to a very large combined audience - which does pique our interest.
When it comes to the texture, it is very soft and creamy - which is a bit strange. A plus point, however, is that it seems to avoid the typical metallic flavour that I find distracting in most low-quality 'raw' chocolate. The coconut aspect is certainly obvious and serves to soften the overall flavour profile. But it is slightly tangy, which I like.
Overall, it is still a very good chocolate in the overall genre of 'functional' chocolate which is evident by the sheer volumes of sales Jim and his team do. Would we stock it? Perhaps as part of a much wider 'raw' selection, but I cannot see it being the primary chocolate in that category purely because of its ubiquitousness. But that being said, I'd certainly like to try a wider selection.