Valentine’s is a day of joy, duty or agony depending upon your relationship and/or marital status. Whether you’ll be cuddling with your sweetie, eyeball rolling your way through a romantic dinner or flying solo, those in the culinary arts wants each of you to know that you’re not alone. DIYers who want a unique way to say, “I Love You,” can print out chef Leslie Bilderback’s recipe and instructions for making a human heart-shaped red velvet cake at culinarymasterclass.com. If you’d rather have FedEx do the work for you, check out the heart-shaped temptations below.
The Lobels know meat. Six generations have perfected the art of butchering, and their New York City butcher shop has been a mainstay of the city’s swanky Upper East Side for more than fifty years. For Valentine’s they butterfly a dry-aged, 20-ounce boneless USDA Prime steak into the shape of a heart. Also available in Natural Prime or American Wagyu, you can add extra virgin olive oil, Maldon Sea Salt and Maldon Organic Black Peppercorns and premium dark chocolates to your oder. They ship fresh, no frozen hockey pucks here. Sweetheart Rib, $49.98.Sweetheart Strip, $64.98. lobels.com.
Goose Liver Goodies
Foie gras lovers, The Ecole de Cuisine of Los Angeles answers your Valentine’s prayers. It ships Foie Gras Parfaits in heart-shaped ramekins. Parfaits are usually fruit layered with ice cream or whipped cream. A classic culinary parfait is something that’s whipped with eggs and cream. It’s lighter and airier than a mousse, heavier than a soufflé. With foie gras, chicken liver, butter, eggs, shallots, salt, pepper and sauterne. Plunk it on the table, add a bottle of port and a plate of toast points and you’ve made your first course. $25 each (3.75 oz. serving). ecolecuisine.com.
A Real Sweet Heart
Be still my beating heart. If you’re tired of the same old, same old, give the gift that keeps on jiggling: The world’s largest (2.5 pounds) anatomically correct gummy heart. Created by Jelly Belly inventor and Nifty Candy.com owner, David Klein, it’s wrapped onto a Styrofoam meat tray and comes with a sour cherry vial of blood. $30. niftycandy.com. $6.99 for thinkgeek.com’s smaller version.
The Cheesy Valentine
French gastronome Jean-Anthelme Brillat Savarin (d. 1825) said, “Tell me what you eat, and I will tell you what you are.” If you eat this cheese created in his memory by famed French cheese-maker Androuet, you’re creamy, velvety and irresistible. This heart-shaped Brillat Savarin is a mild triple cream fresh cow’s milk cheese, made silkier with added cream. Available for $10.50 at blackstargourmet.com.
For the Seafood Lover in You
Lobster wins friends and influences people, so imagine what it can do for your love life. Eye-catching red and white-striped Lobster Ravioli, $49.95 for 5-lbs. Also comes in a five-cheese blend. $39.95 for 5-lbs. alfonsogourmetpasta.com.
Crack Her Up
Family-owned, Fresno-based Valley Lahvosh Baking Company has been turning out wonderful Armenian breads since the early 1900s. Their heart-shaped crackers are ideal for Valentine’s. Save leftovers for birthdays, christenings and Mother’s Day. $27 for eight 4-oz. boxes. valleylahvosh.com.
Short and Sweet
Laura Bush has enjoyed Vosswinkel’s melt-in-your-mouth, miniature fruit- and vegetable-shaped shortbreads that look more like toys than cookies. The fruits taste like their shapes, but not the vegetables. Leeks are crème brûlée-flavored, carrots are cheesecake and tomatoes are amaretto. The Keepsake Heart Tin’s dozen “strawberries” look like actual fruit. $24.95. Fill the Heart Tower with “fruit” or a “fruit” and “vegetable” mix and top with a heart-shaped candy-filled tin. $36.95. vosswinkelcookies.com.
Cupcakes in Disguise
Life is like a box of chocolates, you never know what you’re gonna get. Sometimes it’s cupcakes. Box of Chocolates is a traditional heart-shaped chocolate box filled with sixteen miniature cupcakes decorated to look like fine, hand-dipped chocolates. $39. Available only in the Boston metropolitan area. Soon to be shipped nationally. treatcupcakebar.com
Show Your Sweetie Some Support
Not heart-shaped but it sits close to your heart. This one-size-fits-most elasticized Candy Bra is great if you get bored or need that extra burst of energy. $7.95. Forget rose petals, scatter red-foil wrapped Mini Red Chocolate Lips around the house. $21.99 for 2 lbs. candy.com.
You'll Hate These
If you’re not feeling the love and “Be My Anti-Valentine” is more your cup of tea, try Hater Cookies from Tribeca Treats with messages like: “Go Solo;” “Love Stinks;” “V-Day is for Losers” “Eat It; ” and a heart with a slash through it. $3 each. Or, treat yourself to a Red Velvet Heart-Shaped Whoopie Pie. Half the pie’s proceeds go to City Harvest to feed the hungry. $2 each. tribecatreats.com