Mark Valentine’s with special chocolates

  • A box of Jacques Torres gourmet chocolates. AP

  • This undated photo provided by Peeps shows a package of the companies Vanilla Creme Marshmallow Hearts. (Peeps via AP)

  • This undated photo provided by Raaka shows some of the companies chocolates in a three bar gift pack. (Raaka via AP)

Associated Press
Saturday, February 03, 2018

Got a chocolate lover? Why not mark the season of romance with something special just for them.

With an ancient love connection – the Aztecs believed chocolate was an aphrodisiac – and built-in marketing opportunities that include Valentine’s Day, the purveyors of chocolate offer their wares in a variety of price ranges, flavor combinations and just plain fun factor.

The Bubbly

The folks over at Jacques Torres offer 10- and 20-piece boxes of truffles ($20 and $48 respectively) that contain milk chocolate, fresh cream and Taittinger Brut La Francaise Champagne. Yes, the real deal! Uncommongoods offers a Champagne bottle crafted out of dark chocolate that is filled with silver-wrapped truffles that contain a bit of the bubbly, all handmade, for $62.

With Champagne and chocolate forever intertwined in the romance department, gift basket pairings are everywhere. Make sure to check out websites and read reviews.

The Playful

Sometimes, one needs a gift of Peeps to make all the sugar worthwhile, so take advantage of the little packets of red and pink hearts. Peeps are especially nice if your holiday is more Galentine’s Day than Valentine’s Day. They just make certain people smile. Packs of mini hearts are available for $3.75. A two-pack of larger pink hearts goes for $9.91.

Got a Candy Corn fanatic? Give the gift of Cupid Corn in a 2-pound bag, $12.95. It’s red, pink and white.

The Fruity

Yes, we’re talking chocolate-dipped strawberries, either DIY or ordered ahead. A box of 12 dipped in semisweet chocolate from Edible Arrangements costs $19. A dozen in a milk and dark chocolate mix from Godiva runs $80. Look around to go even fancier with added embellishments, full coverage rather than just the tips and other flavors, including Belgian white chocolate.

Fruity bouquets are also available. So are other fruits with a kiss of chocolate. Bissingers offers 12 Valencia orange slices dipped in dark chocolate using glaceeing techniques for $43.

If you feel like going DIY, buy a chocolate fountain, slice up your loved one’s favorite fruit and have at it.

The Sentimental

Partial to See’s Candies? Check the website for Valentine’s Day specials. A heart-shaped box in a tuxedo theme and stuffed with the company’s best chocolates has been available in the past. How about personalizing some M&Ms for your beloved?

Hershey offers its chocolate Kisses by occasion, including pink ones. Lots of other name brands like Kit Kat will be offering up special-issue goodies for Valentine’s Day, if you’re looking to not break the bank. Little grab-and-go’s like these are a great complement to a larger gift.

Miscellaneous Yumminess

Lots of handcrafted boxes of chocolates are available online and off with fancy and colorful decorations that may not be all about love but are special nonetheless. If you’re lucky, you’ll have a high-end chocolate maker nearby to shop offline