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Food and Drink

The Most Romantic Edible Gifts

Or, how to say “I love you” with food.

RECENTLY I SAT with a friend and sipped my coffee as she shared some frustrations with her marital situation — those of the long-term-relationship-in-a-small-space ilk that have been exacerbated by two years of pandemic living. She longed for the old days of new love and surprise gifts. She recalled one Valentine’s Day weekend, before children, when her husband whisked her away to Harbin Hot Springs in Lake County, California, a place known for being clothing-optional. Why, she inquired, couldn’t there be more spontaneous nudist weekends? I listened dutifully, though I had no easy answers. Things change. It may just be that she’s not (we’re not) living in a time designed for maximum spontaneity or grand gestures.

But that’s no reason to skimp on romance. There is still delight to be found in a well-chosen gift with a touch of luxury. And maybe sharing so much time with our loved ones over the past couple years has made us even more attuned to exactly the kinds of things they’d like, the bits and bobs that are romantic by virtue of being perfect for them. In my case, those gifts will always be edible. Here are a few comestibles on my list this year, all made to be enjoyed at home.

Shop at Dark Horse

Dark Horse Rose Gold Wildflower Honey

What even is this? This was my question when I first saw this product on the CAP Beauty website. The answer: everything I want in one jar. Dark Horse is a Los Angeles–based brand founded by Chef Greg Arnold, who has incorporated the Japanese flavors he grew up with into a beautifully designed line of organic food products, many of which are umami pantry staples. But to me, this one, Rose Gold Wildflower Honey, is pure romance and screams Valentine’s Day. Antioxidant-rich honey — sourced from the mountains above Santa Barbara — is healing, energizing, and indulgent. And here it’s infused with Moroccan roses and … flecks of 24-karat gold, which have been used since ancient times to “mineralize” the body. I don’t know that I understand it; I only know that I want it. I’d be happy upending the pretty little mason jar into a petal-strewn bathtub or simply eating this sweet nectar off a spoon. SHOP NOW


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Shop at Food 52

Maison Boissier Caramel Box

As a die-hard candy lover, I can content myself with a few packs of Smarties. But when a holiday rolls around, especially a candy holiday (Valentine’s Day, Halloween, or Christmas), I treat myself or request that my significant other treats me to the good stuff. In February, that means chocolate-covered cherries or classy caramels. If you want to do the same for yourself or your sweetheart, the Parisian confectioner Maison Boissier, which has been around since 1827, has you covered. One of their prettiest offerings is this checkerboard of 49 raspberry, vanilla, and chocolate caramels, made the old-fashioned way, with sugar, crème fraîche, and butter. SHOP NOW

Shop at Figlia

Figlia Aperitivo

For those who don’t drink or those simply not in the mood to drink, it can be hard to find suitable replacements for a festive cocktail. Sure, flavored seltzer will get you through the workday, but on a special occasion, cracking open a can of water certainly doesn’t do it for me. Fortunately, the landscape of non-alcoholic libations is growing fast, and one of my favorites in the category is Figlia. The aesthetic of this nonalcoholic aperitivo is all luxury: It comes in a bar-cart-ready heavy glass bottle that looks and feels like a mid-century decanter. It tastes delicious: Its naturally deep vampy red color holds citrus and floral notes, bold spice, and, like the real deal, finishes with a pleasant bitterness. I also love that founder Lily Geiger is open about losing her father to alcoholism and creating Figlia to offer more options to those who have stopped or want to stop drinking. If you want the flavor and glamour of a cocktail without the consequences, Figlia is for you. And it’s the perfect romantic gift for the light or non-drinker in your life — because we deserve to party too. SHOP NOW

The Best Edible Gift Ideas for Valentine’s Day

  • Dark Horse Rose Gold Wildflower Honey

    Antioxidant-rich honey — sourced from the mountains above Santa Barbara — is healing, energizing, and indulgent.

  • Figlia Aperitivo

    If you want the flavor and glamour of a cocktail without the consequences, Figlia is for you. It’s the perfect romantic gift for the light or non-drinker in your life.

  • Maison Boissier Caramel Box

    This checkerboard of 49 raspberry, vanilla, and chocolate caramels is made the old-fashioned way, with sugar, crème fraîche, and butter.

  • Dark Horse Rose Gold Wildflower Honey

    Antioxidant-rich honey — sourced from the mountains above Santa Barbara — is healing, energizing, and indulgent.

  • Maison Boissier Caramel Box

    This checkerboard of 49 raspberry, vanilla, and chocolate caramels is made the old-fashioned way, with sugar, crème fraîche, and butter.

  • Figlia Aperitivo

    If you want the flavor and glamour of a cocktail without the consequences, Figlia is for you. It’s the perfect romantic gift for the light or non-drinker in your life.

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Our Contributors

Nina Renata Aron Writer

Nina Renata Aron is a senior editor of Departures based in Oakland, California. She is the author of “Good Morning, Destroyer of Men's Souls.” Her work has appeared in the New York Times, the Los Angeles Times, the Guardian, the New Republic, Elle, Eater, and Jezebel.

Ahonen & Lamberg Illustrator

Ahonen & Lamberg is a multidisciplinary design studio based in Paris. Founded in 2006 by Finnish designers Anna Ahonen and Katariina Lamberg, the studio concentrates on art direction, creative consultancy, and graphic design.

Departures and American Express do not provide, endorse, or guarantee any of the items, and the sale of such items is governed by the third-party seller’s policies, terms, and conditions.
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