What are encomiums?

An encomium is a tribute or an expression of high praise.

In Oliver Twist, the Artful Dodger reveals a cache of tasty rabbit pie, top quality tea, rich cheese, and sweets:

In compliance with Mr. Fagin's request, the Artful untied this bundle, which was of large size, and formed of an old table-cloth; and handed the articles it contained, one by one, to Charley Bates: who placed them on the table, with various encomiums on their rarity and excellence.
'Sitch a rabbit pie, Bill,' exclaimed that young gentleman, disclosing to view a huge pasty; 'sitch delicate creeturs, with sitch tender limbs, Bill, that the wery bones melt in your mouth, and there's no occasion to pick 'em . . .