Sunday, February 3, 2013

Nougat, in Charleston, West Virginia

As David recently pointed out about San Diego, do not underestimate the less famous chocolate cities. There are gems everywhere. Here's an example: Nougat, in Charleston, West Virginia

Nougat is run by a true chocolatier. She has a passion for her truffles that I fully respect. When I first visited Nougat in December, they had just opened, and the proprietor was delighted to share her products with me. She is from Lebanon originally, and most of her chocolates are imported from the Lebanese chocolatier Nougatini.

Nougatini has been making high-quality chocolates in Lebanon since the 1930s. Their products are now sold in a variety of boutiques around the Middle East, but Nougat is the only place where you can buy Nougatini in the U.S.

I hadn't known anything about Lebanese chocolate, but this was truly excellent stuff. A lot of it was quite similar to French chocolates, but there were a few flavors of truffle that I'd never seen before that I guess are unique to the Middle East.

In the back of Nougat they even have a little room with tables and chairs that you could use for a private event. I had never thought of Charleston, West Virginia, as a big chocolate town-- nor had I thought of Lebanon as a big chocolate creator-- but David's right, and the moral of the story is: if you look for chocolate hard enough, you'll be surprised by where you find it.

BOTTOM LINE: If you find yourself in Charleston, you must seek out Nougat. And if you're ever given the chance to taste Lebanese chocolates, just say yes.

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