Foods To Buy Your Valentine That Aren't Chocolate

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Every year when February 14 rolls around, romance pirouettes through the air like love-filled ballet dancers. Valentine's Day is a time when people go the extra mile to show that special someone they care for them more than the world itself. Now, even though any day of the year is a perfect time to display your love, there's something extra noteworthy about this particular day. Just knowing that the general population is also feeling more loving than usual is a great feeling.

But, even though Valentine's Day is filled with sentiment, it can sometimes be a bit stressful trying to find that perfect gift to wow your partner. You certainly don't want it to come across as cheesy, and you want to ensure your boo knows you put thought into it as well. Now, obviously chocolate is a go-to option for so many people, but it can seem so basic. The last thing you want to do is come across as someone who can't find anything unique to give. Luckily, there are a whole bunch of great food options that aren't chocolate but still convey the same great message of love. Here is our selection of awesome food gifts to ensure your Valentine's Day goes off with a bang.


On Valentine's Day, it's natural to want to show your partner that sweetness courses through your heart. While there are plenty of ways to do that, what better one than to get them a gift that literally spells it out in its name? We're talking about Sweethearts, of course! These colorful bite-sized heart-shaped candies are a perfect gift for someone who is tired of chocolate but still loves sweets.

The fact that the candy is vibrantly colored and tasty isn't even the best part. Every single piece has a little message of love printed on it to convey your feelings even more. You can't go wrong with such a sweet gesture. Common phrases like "Cutie Pie," "Be Mine," and "Wink Wink" will woo your loved one. It's an adorable way to give someone a treat with an extra love note attached to it. If you have a particular sweetheart in your life who's deserving of a splendid Valentine's Day, these candies are a win.

Marzipan fruit

When it comes to getting someone food as a Valentine's Day gift, it's a pretty safe assumption that they'll be expecting something sweet. So, if you present them with a basket of fruit, they might be a bit confused. Sure, fruit is a sweet and healthy option, but Valentine's Day is a holiday that celebrates sugary treats we usually try to avoid by enjoying them with a loved one. But, that doesn't mean you can't buy something shaped like fruit that packs a sweet punch. This is where marzipan comes into the picture.

If you're unfamiliar with marzipan, it's a sweet and nutty-flavored paste made primarily with sugar and ground almonds. It can come in countless forms, such as in a tube shape to slice or in little bite-sized morsels. However, one of the best variations of the candy is the fruit-flavored variety. The marzipan is molded and colored into miniature versions of popular fruit (apples, bananas, oranges, and so on), turning them into a cute treat. So, if you want to give your partner something with the appearance of fruit but has a delightfully rich taste, marzipan is a wonderful option. All that real fruit can wait for another day.

Apple pie cookies

There's rarely a bad time to enjoy a cookie. You can mix and match so many different ingredients into those baked discs of sugary goodness that you're guaranteed to find a combination you will enjoy. Chocolate chip cookies are arguably the most popular flavor, but what happens when you want to stay away from anything chocolate but still snag a box that'll hit the sweet spot dead on? Luckily there are tons of companies out there that crank out hundreds of chocolate-free options, and one that's sure to check off all the right boxes is the apple pie cookie from Bang Cookies.

Who doesn't love a freshly baked apple pie that comes out of the oven with a golden crust and huge chunks of glazed apples nestled underneath? Well, now you can enjoy all the flavor of the pie in a handheld version. According to the Bang Cookies website, "bitingly tangy" organic apples are combined with "comforting cane sugar" and "vivacious vanilla" to create an "audacious apple pie worth being cast out of Eden for." Now that's saying something. Enjoy one of these cookies but make sure you stay away from Eden when you do.

Sea salt caramels

Mixing contrasting flavor profiles is a great way to pack a huge punch of taste. Have you ever had something that was both sweet and savory? Not only do you get the full-bodied richness of whatever sweet ingredient you use, but the savoriness helps cut right through it like a blade to offset a potentially overwhelming experience for your palate. Two flavor profiles that create an awesome seesaw of taste when joined are sweet and salty. And, that's exactly why investing in a bag of handcrafted gourmet sea salt caramel candies from Tara's is a surefire way to put a smile on your loved one's face.

The tub comes with individually wrapped morsels of chewy caramel chunks with crunchy bits of sea salt throughout, so you get a tiny burst of salty crunchiness paired with the rich buttery flavor of the caramel. The vanilla extract used is from Madagascar, which means no shortcuts were taken when trying to concoct the best product possible. The candy is cooked in kettles in the Rocky Mountains, and Tara's is proud of the fact that its recipe has never changed since its earliest days. 

Bacon bouquet

A bouquet of flowers is a vibrant and pleasantly scented way of telling your sweetheart you love them. Everyone is happy to have an assortment of colorful, gorgeous flowers to put on display in their homes, so why wouldn't you snag a bundle on Valentine's Day for your partner? Well, while bouquets are obviously a great Valentine's gift, they don't offer anything edible if you're trying to satisfy the foodie in your life. That is, of course, until you realize that you can buy bacon bouquets! Believe it or not, the Manly Man Company makes a bouquet that not only looks aesthetically pleasing but also caters to everyone's inner carnivore in the best way possible.

If you have a bacon enthusiast in your life, there really is no better gift than this bouquet. The 16 strips of bacon come individually wrapped so they won't stick together, and the best part is that there are four different flavors: sweet and spicy, sweet, red curry, and habanero heat. There's a flavor profile for every palate, and the pieces are thick-cut, not the thin measly stuff you sometimes find packaged at the supermarket. Valentine's Day is a time to celebrate everything you love about another person, and when one of those qualities is a passion for rich, meaty flavors, then look no further than the bacon bouquet.

Baked by Melissa cupcakes

For some reason, the miniature version of an item is way more adorable than the full-size. There's something about the ability to fit it in the palm of your hand that makes it so darn cute. Since there's no better time to do something cute and adorable than on Valentine's Day, you might as well go big with a sweet treat that doesn't only taste delicious but also has the recipient saying, "Aw, how cute!" upon opening it. That's exactly where Baked by Melissa has you covered on all miniature fronts. The company offers a large variety of miniature cupcakes that are colorfully designed, uniquely flavored, and most importantly, delicious.

Baked by Melissa offers a large variety of mix-and-match cupcake box sets, but since it's Valentine's Day, you might as well go with the biggest box available or face the potential wrath of a disappointed loved one. This means purchasing the 50-pack box, and it comes with enough variety to make your head spin (there is even a 100-pack box but your dentist might not approve). It comes with flavors like cookies and cream, peanut butter and jelly, tie-dye, snowcap, mint chocolate chip, red velvet, white chocolate hot cocoa, and vanilla fluff. Pretty epic selection, huh? Make Valentine's Day a huge success with a miniature gift.

Beef jerky flower bouquet

What kind of gift would you buy for the person in your life who has an undying love for all things beef? Someone who stares a thick ribeye right in its eye without fear and conquers it like a knight slaying a dragon? At first, you might find yourself in a bit of a conundrum. But with a little bit of research, you'll soon discover that beef jerky flower bouquets are a thing. Game, set, match.

This gift will stretch a smile across the face of any meat-loving person, as well as give them a chuckle or two at the sheer absurdity of it. This "flower" bouquet uses sticks of beef jerky as the stems and petal-shaped jerky at the end of each piece, making the result actually resemble flowers. The beef jerky comes in your choice of three flavors — original, teriyaki, or hot — or you can choose the mixed option and get all three. If that's not enough, the vase used to present the bouquet is actually a pint glass, so not only will the recipient have delicious jerky to enjoy but also a glass to help them wash it all down with a cold beverage. Now that's a Valentine's Day gift worth giving.

Wildflower honey

If you're a fan of sweet goodies, then chances are you've dabbled in the wondrous world of honey. It's amazing to think our friends in the insect world can produce something so delicious, and they work tirelessly to keep cranking that golden nectar out to keep our palates happy (unbeknownst to them, of course). Honey is a great addition to so many foods and drinks like tea, cheese, yogurt, and ice cream. Heck, you can even just squeeze it straight out of the bottle into your mouth if you so desire. Why not show the sweetest person in your life that you're grateful for their presence by gifting them a jar of Detroit Hives wildflower honey?

Detroit Hives is a company that finds abandoned lots throughout the city and works to turn them into urban bee farms. You may not know just how vital bees are to every aspect of our ecosystem, but Detroit Hives does, and that's why it works so incredibly hard to preserve them in safe habitats. When you purchase a jar of this honey, not only are you getting your Valentine an awesomely unique gift to sweeten their favorite foods, but you're playing a helpful role in the environment, as well. That's a double win.

Flavored olive oil

Plenty of people love spending time in the kitchen whipping up their favorite meals or experimenting with a new concoction of ingredients. When Valentine's Day rolls around, it's not difficult settling on the decision to get that kind of person something they can use to enhance their home chef skills. Deciding on the specifics can be a real issue though. You don't want to get something that's boring or too standard; no one who loves cooking wants to take up space in their kitchen with something they won't use. You need to think uniquely and practically, and that's exactly what makes Saratoga Olive Oil Company's infused olive oils such a worthwhile buy.

Olive oil is a huge component of countless dishes, but so many of us just use the basic stuff we find on supermarket shelves. However, there is a fascinating world of flavored and infused olive oil just waiting to play a role in your next home-cooked meal. You can snag great flavors like blood orange, Baklouti green chili, cilantro and roasted onion, Milanese gremolata, and ginger and black garlic. Indeed, this place doesn't mess around when it comes to its oils. This is the perfect gift for any home chef who wants to kick their cooking up several notches.

Gourmet cheese spread

The last thought you want that special someone in your life to have when they open up their Valentine's Day gift is, "This is cheesy." No one wants cheesy on the most romantic day of the year. Cheesy is for any other time. However, there is room for a cheesy gift on Valentine's Day if you plan on shopping at Murray's Cheese. This is the kind of cheesy that won't sour any mood and will have both of you breaking out the charcuterie board and enjoying a delicious feast to celebrate the romance that's hanging in the air.

Murray's Cheese is an amazing purveyor of fantastic cheeses and meats that will crank up a charcuterie spread from 10 to 11 in an instant. It sells a lot of different variety boxes, but the Greatest Hits pack will have your Valentine singing with delight. You get four great cheeses – English cheddar, mini Brie, cave-aged Gruyère, and young Manchego – along with spiced cherry preserves, sea salt and olive oil crackers, and Marcona almonds. This is a perfect buy for any foodie with a hankering for all things cheesy.

Pink Champagne cake bites

When a celebration is around the corner, it's imperative to stock up on Champagne so you can celebrate properly. The pop of the cork means party time has officially begun and the fizzy alcohol served in a tall flute glass shouts "Hooray!" Obviously, Valentine's Day is an event that requires proper celebration, so a bottle of Champagne would certainly be a grand idea. But, if you're looking for food that carries the same kind of celebratory energy, pink champagne cake bites from Caroline's Cakes do the trick.

If you're already sipping on Champagne, you might as well get your loved one an edible version of the party drink as well. Each box comes with a dozen white chocolate–covered champagne-infused morsels of decadent pink cake. You can pour yourself a glass of Champagne and pop a few of these bites back while watching a romantic movie with your partner. This is Champagne on Champagne, and that means double the tasty excitement.

Ice cream gift pack

I scream! You scream! We all scream for ice cream! Ice cream is one of those sugary treats that's totally worth yelling about at the top of your lungs. Any hot, muggy summer day is immediately made better once you start spooning ice cream into your mouth. There are new flavors constantly hitting supermarket shelves, and it's virtually impossible not to find at least one variety that your palate will deem delectable. When Valentine's Day comes along, it only makes sense to want to shout your love from the rooftops, so you might as well get a sweet treat that's up to par. That means grabbing yourself a six-pint package of Humphry Slocombe's artisanal ice cream.

The six-pint set comes with half a dozen awesome flavors of ice cream, and that means six different reasons for your Valentine to feel thankful you're in their life. Expect delicious flavors like Secret Breakfast (bourbon ice cream with corn flake cookies), Vietnamese coffee, honey graham (with blackberry honey ice cream), peanut butter fudge ripple, malted milk chocolate, and Matchadoodle (snickerdoodle cookies and matcha ice cream). This isn't your typical supermarket ice cream, and your Valentine isn't your typical person. They're astoundingly special, so get them a gift that also falls into that category too.

Build-your-own spice set

Home chefs are always looking to acquire unique kitchen gadgets and ingredients to add to their arsenal of delicious dishes. It makes sense that when Valentine's Day starts poking its head around the corner come February, you should opt to get your partner something they'll frequently use in the kitchen. It might seem like a challenge to find something truly unique, but Diaspora Co. swoops in with exactly that. Discover mix-and-match spice sets with amazing flavors that definitely aren't popping up in your local stores.

Diaspora Co. offers three different mix-and-match sets (with three, six, or nine jars), and the packaging is vibrant and fun, just like your Valentine. Per its website, the company "sources 30 single-origin spices from 150 farms across India and Sri Lanka." That means none of the knockoff stuff you might find masquerading as exotic at the supermarket. The company offers spices like biryani masala, Pragati turmeric, wild heimang sumac, and bindu black mustard. Not only are these delicious, but they'll encourage any home cook to explore new recipes so they can put them to use. Show your Valentine they're unique with these one-of-a-kind flavors.

Butcher's choice subscription box

Lots of companies nowadays offer cool box sets you can subscribe to and receive new products to tinker around with every month. One company that caters not only to foodies but to anyone who loves meat is Porter Road, and this place is serious about slinging the best cuts of protein you can find. Since 2010, Porter Road has quickly grown in popularity thanks to its high-quality cuts of meat. The person you're buying a Valentine's Day gift for is high quality, wouldn't you agree? So, you should seriously consider signing them up for the Butcher's Choice Box.

The instructions for these boxes are super simple. First, you choose which box you want. Each one has a different selection of meat, and you can switch to another style any time you want. Then, figure out how often you want it to arrive at your doorstep (every two, four, or eight weeks). Finally, select any add-on items you might want to include, and boom! You're all set to receive high-quality cuts of protein you and your Valentine can enjoy for weeks on end.

Customized fruit and nut basket

It's natural to enjoy a variety of items, and that's exactly what makes customizable gift boxes so appealing for both the buyer and the recipient. On Valentine's Day, it's nice to get your partner a gift that has several different components so it doesn't potentially come across as boring. This characteristic is a key feature of the gift sets at, making them such a great option. You can choose from a ton of different ingredients to mix and match the perfect box for your Valentine and convey to them that much like this gift, they have lots of different components you're in love with.

You have the option of getting tins, trays, and baskets, and you can customize them all. There are also gluten-free and kosher options available and a variety of ingredients to cater to people with a range of palates. If your Valentine doesn't really hop on board with sweet foods then you can load up on nuts and dried fruit. If they love sweets then obviously you'll go heavy on the sugary additions. There's really no end to the creativity, just like there's no end to the love you and your partner share. Aww.

Colorful macarons

Not to be confused with the coconut-based cookies known as macaroons, macarons are a colorful French confection made with meringue and almond flour. Each macaron is a tiny sandwich held together with a layer of jam, ganache, or buttercream. They are delicate, sweet without being overwhelmingly sugary, and so beautiful that they would be difficult to eat if they weren't so delicious. Although cookies made from almond flour and meringue have been around for centuries, the colorful sandwiches that populate pâtisserie windows were likely created in the late 19th or early 20th century at the renowned establishment Ladurée of Paris. Luckily, they have become popular worldwide and you no longer have to travel to the City of Light to procure them.

As a Valentine's Day gift, macarons scream sophistication (or, more accurately, purr it seductively with a French accent). They are that rarest of items — a gift that is both unique compared to the usual heart-shaped chocolates and boxes of truffles, and hopelessly romantic. They might be harder to find than Valentine's Day candy, but it will be worth the extra legwork. Plus, you can always buy them online. Unlike most cookies, macarons are almost exclusively sold as gifts and often come in luxurious, elegant packaging so you don't have to worry about wrapping them yourself.

Fruit tarts

For a more sophisticated and refined spin on Valentine's Day treats than heart-shaped candy, fruit tarts are the ideal option. Berries and sliced fruit give a nod to nutrition and create a colorful, celebratory appearance, while a buttery crust and creamy filling provide a textural and flavor balance that is unparalleled when stacked up against the usual Valentine's Day fare. Choosing fruit tarts shows that you have put thought and effort into the gift rather than simply picking up a bag of candy on your way home from work by default. They are usually only available at the dessert counter at bakeries or grocery stores, and you'll have to spend several minutes deliberating over which one your partner would like most. 

This is an especially thoughtful gift for people who have a sweet tooth but prefer lighter desserts over sugar-filled chocolate and cupcakes. Make sure to purchase them no earlier than a day before February 14. Fruit tarts are prone to sogginess if left in the fridge for too long, and a crispy, buttery crust is their hallmark. Even more importantly, don't forget to buy one for yourself. These little guys are too small to share, and you don't want to be left watching your partner eat theirs and have to pretend you aren't seething with jealousy.

Heart-shaped sugar cookies

Valentine's Day is, above all, a shamelessly sappy holiday dedicated to love, so why not embrace it? Having one day of the year reserved for celebrating your relationship will never go out of style, no matter how hard the curmudgeons try to convince us otherwise. With this in mind, heart-shaped cookies are practically a necessity. Whether they're plain, decorated with sprinkles, or covered in intricately piped icing, they signal romance without being overly serious about it. If you haven't quite gotten to the stage in your relationship of big, romantic gestures or "I love yous," heart-shaped cookies are a great way to playfully show you care and aren't afraid to express it.

Another benefit of this gift is that you can find the cookies everywhere in the period leading up to the holiday. The bakery at your favorite grocery store is likely to stock some variation of them, and you can even purchase beautifully packaged ones online and have them delivered directly to your door. You can opt for simple designs or choose ones that are extravagantly decorated. Whatever you want to signal to your partner this year, there's a heart-shaped sugar cookie to do it.

Red velvet cake

Forget about little candies and cookies. If you really want to make a big romantic gesture, you should go ahead and give your partner an entire cake. And what type could be more in keeping with the holiday of love than a red velvet cake? Its vibrant color symbolizes passion, while its airy, chocolatey texture is pure decadence. A cake is the quintessential celebratory dessert. When given to someone special on Valentine's Day, it shows that you aren't just expressing love, but celebrating the romance you share.

If you love baking, you might be tempted to make a red velvet cake yourself. However, unless you're a trained pastry chef, the craftsmanship that goes into a professionally made red velvet cake is tough to beat and worthy of a special occasion. With intricate icing, a heavenly light texture, and gorgeous packaging, a cake purchased from a bakery will be a gift that you and your partner will remember with joy. Additionally (and this is the best part), a cake is meant to be shared. Instead of watching longingly as your partner devours all the chocolates you gifted them, you'll be able to dig into the red velvet cake together without anyone feeling short-changed.

A donut bouquet

The two pillars of Valentine's Day gifting are flowers and sweets, and it turns out that combining them into a single gift can end up being surprisingly original and more affordable than those astronomically priced roses. Our favorite example is a donut bouquet. It's a bold replacement for flowers and wrapped up in all the tissue paper and ribbons that roses might come in, but it also has the benefit of being full of pillowy, sugary treats that are definitely better than a handful of chocolates.

You might be thinking that this gift sounds more expensive than a standard Valentine's bouquet, but if you assemble it yourself, it can actually be much more affordable. All you have to do is head to your favorite donut shop, purchase an assortment of goodies, place them each on the end of a skewer, and arrange them exactly as you would arrange a bouquet of flowers. Take advantage of the DIY aspect of the gift and be strategic about the donuts you choose. You can mimic the appearance of flowers by getting ones with pink, white, and red icing, or go for drama by picking bright colors and different shapes. If you want to go the extra mile, you can make the donuts from scratch. We have recipes for everything from baked pumpkin donuts to easy jelly-filled donuts to donuts made in an air fryer.

Linzer cookies

Based on the classic Austrian torte, Linzer cookies are traditionally gifted during the winter holidays in Europe, the way gingerbread men and iced sugar cookies are in the U.S. Their flavor is buttery and nutty thanks to the use of almond flour, but their real calling card is the stained glass effect created by sandwiching jam between two cookies and making a small cut-out in the top one. Popular shapes include circles and diamonds, but for Valentine's Day, hearts are what we're thinking about. When raspberry or strawberry jam is used, the hearts look like deep red stained glass, while a dusting of powdered sugar on the buttery cookie highlights their delicate beauty.

Linzer cookies may be more difficult to find than decorated sugar cookies or chocolate candy, but European-style bakeries and even some grocery stores are likely to carry them at this time of year. Where colorful sugar cookies are a playful treat to present your Valentine, Linzer cookies are strikingly elegant while being just as buttery and sugary as their more ubiquitous cousins.