Dancing Lion Chocolate – Kukicha Green Tea and Strawberry Nougat

 Everything happened within an hour. Fellow blogger, Trish, from Eating the Chocolate Alphabet and Janice, another fellow chocoholic, tagged me in a post on Instagram by Dancing Lion about these green tea and strawberry nougats. Rich from Dancing Lion reached out with contact info, and an order was placed. Thank you, Rich, for working with us and for making it possible for the three of us ladies to try these nuggets of deliciousness! I still find it funny how quickly everything happened and I’m reminded of how amazing the chocolate community is with spreading news and getting connected 🙂

We took the opportunity to place an order for these nougats ASAP as Dancing Lion creates multiple flavors of nougats, but batches are never repeated. So if you see something on their Instagram account that you want to get, reach out to Dancing Lion and place your order right away. Once it’s gone, it’s gone.

Before I go into my experience trying these nougats, I want to mention that Dancing Lion is a well known name despite being in the upper corner of the United States in New Hampshire. They’re known as one of the top 10 chocolatiers in our country and I’ve seen their name in connection with Ecole Chocolat as Rich studied with them in the pas. I believe the first time I heard about Dancing Lion was when I watched a video of a Skype conversation between Megan Giller, Rich/Dancing Lion and others (this was a couple of years ago, so my memory is fuzzy on the details).

I had the chance to attend a friend’s wedding in New Hampshire last fall and I was disappointed that my boyfriend and I didn’t get the chance to stop by their store. Once cooler temperatures return, I definitely want to try some of Rich’s chocolate, so this is the first time I’m trying any kind of Rich’s products!

While placing my order over the phone, Rich informed me that kukicha green tea is sweeter than matcha. I’m a fan of green tea, but apparently not big enough as I hadn’t heard of kukicha before. Kukicha is made from a blend of leaves and stems gathered during the production of matcha and sencha green tea. It has a savory-sweet and sometimes nutty flavor. Rich also told me that the strawberries used in this nougat came all the way from California and that they use 2-day shipping to get the berries out to New Hampshire. These strawberries were at the peak of their season when they were used to make the nougat.

The nougat had a berry and slightly grassy aroma as I usually experience from green tea. The texture was very chewy though soft. Extra chewy texture came from the strawberry bits inside and crunchiness from strawberry seeds. The flavor was a mixture of savory, sweet and tartness from the strawberries. The grassy flavor of kukicha was very subtle. The flavor of strawberry lingered for a long time in the aftertaste. I liked the balance of savory and sweet, and the berry flavoring was refreshing. The boyfriend also got to try these and he also liked them. I don’t consume nougat very often, but after experiencing these, I’ll be turning to nougats more often when I have a craving for a sweet, chewy confection!

Dancing Lion Chocolate: Made in Manchester, New Hampshire

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