MANILA, Philippines – Valentine’s Day is approaching, but you still may be at a loss on what to give your long-term partner (again) this year. That, or maybe you’re not quite sure what your newly-minted S.O. would appreciate as a Valentine’s gift – well, except maybe food.
If you’re hungry for love (and good eats), we all know that the way through a person’s heart is through their stomach. Luckily, we’ve got several food gift ideas from local businesses to surprise your partner with this Valentine’s season – whether they enjoy pastries, cakes, cookies, or savory snacks!
Sweets for your sweetie
You can’t go wrong with sweets! Chocolate and pastries, included. If your partner loves anything chocolate, check out Chew Chocolate’s best-selling nama chocolate (a worthy and more affordable dupe to ROYCE), and their addictive chocolate-covered potato chips.
For the season, Chew Chocolate has three Lovesent Bundles available (P999-P1,399), which comes with nama chocolate boxes (dark, milk, or cinnamon flavors), chocolate-covered crisps, and a personalized card.
Bean-to-bar brand Auro Chocolate has a boozy treat up their sleeve – their newest collaboration is the Auro x Don Papa Rum Bar (P295), a rum-infused 70% dark chocolate bar that’s strong in flavor, perfect for fans of real cacao and smooth, local rum.
You can also get it as a Don Papa Gift Box (P2,290), which includes three bars of Auro’s micro-batch, single estate, rum dark chocolate and a bottle of seven-year-old Don Papa rum.
If you want something that exudes more romance, Bizu’s extravagantly-designed Valentine’s Gift Boxes are a god-send. Some of their Valentine-themed, pretty treats include Truffle Heart Bonbons (white chocolate and salted caramel); Valentine Macarons (chocolate ganache, berry filling, crushed pralines); Valentine Cakesicles; strawberry Chocolate Bars with hazelnut, pistachio, or cacao nibs; and the decadent Romance Cake (dark chocolate ganache, crème brûlée, caramel, strawberries).
Why not throw in a heart-shaped caviar pie for good measure? Bizu also has a Smoked Salmon and Black Caviar Pie Valentine Edition that’s served with crunchy crostini, for those who want a savory break.
If it’s breakfast in bed you want to surprise your S.O. with, check out Kuh Meal’s limited edition Valentine’s Special menu and the Ultimate Dessert Fondue (P1,150), a sweet tooth’s dream. Each box contains 12 cookie nibblers, four Driscoll’s strawberries, four mini butter croissants, eight brownie bites, and three dips: milk chocolate, semi-sweet chocolate, and white chocolate.
Maybe donuts are more up your alley? Krispy Kreme’s seasonal Dreamy Valentine’s Collection is as sweet as it is pretty – these heart-shaped original glazed donuts are filled with different fruit purees, vanilla kreme, and white chocolate crunch. The three flavors are Strawberries & Kreme, Blueberries & Kreme, and White Chocolate & Almonds. The donuts are made extra special with pastel pink, purple, and white glazes, topped with gold glitter jelly, silver dragées, and vanilla icing.
If you’re dating a cookie monster, maybe Cookie Fixx could satisfy your partner’s fix. Founded by 16-year-old home baker Cailey Salonga, Cookie Fixx offers three kinds of homemade cookies, with her best-seller being the OG Chocolate Chip Cookies (P375) – six palm-sized soft, chewy cookies made with chunks of premium chocolate and a dash of Maldon sea salt flakes.
Cookie Fixx also has a Special Gift Box (P395) for the special occasion, which includes the OG flavor, plus Walnut Oat Cookies and Gluten-Free Chocolate Chip Cookies.
Local cookie brand Overdoughs also has a Limited Edition OD’s Sweet Valentines Surprise (P329), presented in a bronze tin can with a handpicked mini bouquet of dried flowers and a note card. Inside are nine pieces of Overdough’s best-selling OD Mini Chonky Cookies, which you can also have with walnuts for an additional fee.
Love is a piece of cake
A celebration is never complete without a cake, especially if it’s an aesthetically-pleasing one.
Quezon City bakeshop Amberlyn’s Kitchen specializes in minimalistic cakes with customizable designs and dedications, decorated in gradient, pastel icing and cute illustrations. Amberlyn’s offers cube, bento, 6”, and 8” cake sizes in chocolate, vanilla, carrot, strawberry, and red velvet flavors. Make sure your dedication is as sweet as the cake!
If your loved one is in love with strawberry shortcake, try out Butternut MNL’s limited edition Cupid’s Strawberry Chantilly Créme Cake (P1,950). You’ll fall in love with soft, moist vanilla spongecake layers filled with sweet strawberry compote, covered in strawberry chantilly créme icing, and then topped with fresh strawberries, blueberries, flowers, and gold flakes for maximum beauty.
Another gorgeous cake contender is Chef Kerri’s Baking Room’s Scarlet Berry Mille Crepe Cake (P3,800), a special Valentine’s offering meticulously made from multiple layers of red French crepes, featuring strawberry cream and fresh strawberries in between.
For more love-themed goodies, Honeybon’s indulgent Belgian Decadence Cake (P680) is for romantic chocoholics who want a heart-shaped cake of layers of flourless chocolate cake and egg custard in between, coated in rich chocolate ganache and topped with ganache rosettes. They also have a cute Strawberry Fields Shortcake (P820) that is also part of their Valentines-exclusive Sweet Hearts cake collection.
Conti’s also has a new Chocolate Blush Cake (P1,095), which features chocolate cake, cream filling, and strawberry cheesecake topped with malt chocolate, pretty floral icing, and chocolate malt balls.
A scoop of love (and ice cream)
It’s that time of the year again! Sebastian’s has released the 2022 Valentine’s Ice Cream Collection, featuring their four staple flavors: Matinong Girlfriend, Matinong Boyfriend, Closure and Unresolved Issues. Which one are you manifesting for yourself this year?
This year’s Matinong Girlfriend is a vanilla malt ice cream, swirled with creamy peanut butter, chocolate fudge, and peanut butter-filled pretzels dipped in chocolate for a sweet-salty hit; while the Matinong Boyfriend has banana ice cream made with ripe lakatan bananas, Nutella fudge ripple, crispy banana chips, and real banana slices dipped in Nutella.
Closure has always been a delicate, tea-based ice cream, so this year it’s honey ginger tea ice cream, infused with fresh ginger, black tea leaves, and sweetened with honey. Lastly, the Unresolved Issues has always been a controversial flavor, and since it’s hard to move on, the flavor remains to be Sebastian’s bittersweet ampalaya sorbet with candied ampalaya bits. The first three flavors cost P420 a pint, while the last costs P300.
If award-winning New Zealand ice cream is something you’re interested to try, check out a&t Your Ice Cream Corner, a Makati-based ice cream shop selling famous NZ brands like Talley’s Ice Cream and Motueka Creamery.
Talley’s Ice Cream is creamy, smooth, and milky; both the kids and kids at heart will enjoy a scoop or two. Try out their Vanilla Choc Chip flavor with crunchy chocolate chips, or their award-winning Blueberry or Hokey Pokey, made with honeycomb toffee.
It’s not exactly ice cream, but it is still a delicious milk product worth trying out – if your partner is a fan of horchata, the famous Mexican agua fresca, then check out Vida Loca’s line of homemade horchata in liters.
You can’t go wrong with the sweet, classic flavor made with rice milk, dairy milk, and cinnamon – a 500ml solo bottle costs P240, while the 1000ml grande costs P380. Vida Loca also offers strawberry and chocolate variants for P380 a liter.
Savory saves the day
Sweets may dominate the season of love, but savory gift options will be just as appreciated, especially if your partner is into snacking. Take Que Rica’s new Davao Chocolate Pili Nuts, for example – the Bicolano brand’s hand-harvested, buttery, vitamin-rich prized nuts are coated in local chocolate for sweet-savory goodness.
You also can’t go wrong with the classic Truffle Pecorino Pili Nuts of Que Rica; these premium pili nuts are dusted with Italian pecorino cheese and truffle-flavored salt for a luxurious and addictive snack. Both are great to munch on their own, used as ingredients, used in charcuterie boards, or paired with champagne and chocolates for a romantic date at home.
If your partner is obsessed with Scout’s Honor’s complimentary appetizer – the restaurant’s crunchy chip crackers – then you’ll be glad to know that they now come in buckets, because bucket naman hindi!
You can order them in 90g cub, 350g camp, and 1000g platoon tubs in original and teriyaki flavors. You won’t be needing a new stash of chips for a while after this.
Maybe he/she is also into ramen? Enjoy preparing fresh bowls of the Japanese delicacy at home together with Tipsy Table’s freshly-made, authentic ramen kits in a variety of flavors.
In one kit you get quality homemade ramen noodles in different flavorful broths and stocks – you can choose from spicy miso, shoyu, shio, tantanmen, vegan shoyu, or vegetarian. Toppings include bok choy, kikurage, green onions, menma, nori, and other of the real ramen works. Don’t worry, you’re also getting Tipsy Table’s slow-cooked, tender chashu (pork belly) and ajitama (a perfectly slow-boiled egg).
How about some classic Pinoy delicacies for your Valentine’s breakfast? A lot of Filipinos would appreciate jars of homemade bottled tuyo, tinapa, buro, and even chili garlic oil. Local business R Kitchen makes high-quality, tasty versions of these local seafood favorites in different flavors – garlic, lemon garlic, spicy, spicy garlic, and sweet and spicy. They even have burong hipon and burong isda in spicy and original variants. – Rappler.com
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