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Valentine's Day Gifts

Oysters, Chocolates & Champagne for Valentine's Day

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Give a gift that no one needs to store: Food and drink. Their consumption can be part of the celebration. Collected here are my tops picks for the three most popular, fabulous, romantic, aphrodisiac food gifts to make your Valentine swoon: champagne, chocolate, and oysters.

1. Champagne

Photo © Molly Watson

Festive, giddy bubbles scream romance with every burst. (The carbonation actually speeds along the effects of the alcohol, which may explain some behavior you or yours have exhibited at weddings past….) If you have a good champagne merchant near you, great; if not try D&M Liquor in San Francisco. They carry dozens and dozens of different champagnes at any time, ship around the country, and can help you pick something more interesting, more fun, and dare we say more romantic than the ubiquitous bottle of Veuve Clicquot (although there's nothing wrong with VC!).

Don't want to shell out for the good stuff? Fair enough. Serve a less expensive sparkling wine, cava, or prosecco on its own or jazz it up in a Champagne Cocktail, Kir Royale, or Lemon Drop Champagne Cocktail (pictured).

2. Chocolates

Photo Used With Permission

Coated with a pretty white sugar coating, soft and yielding with every bite, elegant champagne truffles from Recchiuti Chocolates are a tempting gift for any serious chocolate lover (as is, I might add, any other bit of handiwork from Recchiuti!).

Another delicious option is the Be Mine Basket, adorable and tasty Kiss Me Frog, or irresistible sea salt caramels from Lake Champlain Chocolates. The cocoa and sugar may not be local, but the butter and cream are.

3. Oysters on the Half-Shell

Atlantic Oysters
Photo © Molly Watson

Oysters are legendary — even clichéed — aphrodisiacs. Whether it's all those minerals, their lusciously slurpy texture, or their expense, oysters on the half-shell put at least a smile on the mugs — if not a song in the heart and less metaphorical feelings elsewhere — of those who crave them. Oyster lovers will welcome "Cupid's Package" from Taylor Shellfish Farms as part of their Valentine's Day celebration. Packages come with either 2 or 4 dozen oysters (6 or a dozen each of Totten Inlet Virginicas, Totten Inlet Pacifics, Kumamotos, and Olympias – no idea what I'm talking about? Check out Types of Oysters for a primer), an oyster knife, and a copy of Jon Rowley's seductive essay "How to Eat an Oyster."

Whether you order your oysters or just buy them at the market, see How to Shuck Oysters and Delicious Oyster Sauces to make the best of them.

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