Kate Krader (@kkrader on Twitter) is Food & Wine's restaurant editor. When she tells us where to find our culinary heart's desire, we listen up.
As a firm believer in the almighty power of chocolate, this was big news for me, and every eight-year-old in the country: Last week, Crest unveiled chocolate toothpaste. To be clear, it’s just chocolate (and mint) flavored; the tooth-cleaning power comes from sodium fluoride. But still.
This chocolate toothpaste seems perfectly timed for a chocolate Valentine’s Day blow out. Not that you should wrap it in a ribbon and give it out in lieu of real chocolate. Instead, gauge the level of chocolate expertise for your Valentine and gift accordingly (see below). If you choose to make a present of chocolate toothpaste, save it for National Tooth Fairy Day (February 28).
Hershey’s has just debuted a new line of spreadable chocolates, including a chocolate with hazelnut flavor that’s remarkably similar to the über-popular Italian brand Nutella. If you want to go distinctively Hershey’s, go for the chocolate with almonds or the straight chocolate flavor.
Butterfinger believes “the classic peanut butter cup was missing something ... until now.” The new smooth & crunchy peanut butter cups are a mix of creamy peanut butter and some crunched up Butterfingers. It takes “the cup to a whole ’nother level,” they say, looking right at Reese’s.
If you happen to live near a Max Brenner store (New York City, Philly, Boston, Vegas, Washington, D.C.), you can take your beloved to the Chocolate Bar for a chocolate pizza or a chocolate shot—a syringe filled with melted chocolate ganache. Otherwise, the online store includes a great selection of gifts like the Hug Mug Set ($29), with thick hot chocolate mix plus two of Brenner’s adorably shaped Hug Mugs.
If you want to have a chocolate party on V-Day (who doesn’t), TCHO offers a Chocolate + Wine Pairing Party-in-a-Box. Just add wine! says the box (which also says it costs $29.95). The tasting party for four people includes 24 artisanal chocolates, both milk chocolate and dark, in a multitude of varieties, along with pairing notes and scorecards.
The excellent Hawaiian craft Madre Chocolate is available in a handful of states as well as through its website. For serious chocolate lovers, membership to Madre’s Limited Edition Chocolate Club ($600 for one year) is awesome. Members of the club can get their hands on the company’s limited-edition chocolate bars (often only 50 to 100 are made) featuring impossible-to-find ingredients such as the exotic Brazilian jaboticaba fruit.
For chocolate lovers addicted to excitement, and/or a serious full-body experience, Sarris Candies makes Hot Pepper Chocolate Bars. The three-pack of its hot pepper milk chocolate bars includes a mild bar, made with Santa Cruz chiles, a medium bar made with New Mexican Chimayo red chiles and a hot bar made with habaneros. The latter has, Sarris says, “a flaming fruitiness that lingers on the palate…down your throat and up your spine.” The thrill will cost you $7.95.
More from Food & Wine:
Best Chocolate in the U.S.
Incredible Valentine’s Day Recipes
World’s Most Romantic Cities
Food & Wine Editors’ Favorite Chocolate Recipes
Chocolate pairings that won't make you say 'bleah!'
Just stick with sparkling wine
What's the real cost of chocolate?
Dark, light, sweet, creamy: 12 chocolates to know
Gifts for the chocolate lover in your life
Eat This List: 5 meals for single people – Jean Grae
Aphrodisiac food and wine pairings
More about Valentine's Day
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Peanut butter cup with crunched up Butterfingers. I'm in!
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