Buyers’ Picks: Valentine’s Fare | News

Food gifts with whimsical and artsy packaging and sweets and savories for the dinner table from near and far, are Valentine must-haves, say specialty food buyers. 

Hunter Fike, DiBrunoBros., Philadelphia, PA

  • Di Bruno Bros Black Lava Cashews
  • Mitica Piedras de Chocolate
  • Parmigiano Reggiano
  • Trüff Truffle-Infused Hot Sauce 
  • Wa Imports Black Garlic Molasses

Jana Werner, Market Hall Foods,
Oakland, CA

  • Acetaia Leonardi Balsamic Condiment Fine Heart Serie 5
  • Acetaia Leonardi Beatrice & Dante Balsamic Vinegar IGP
  • Eros Tea by Mariage Frères
  • La Maison Du Piment Sweet Basque Cherry Confit
  • Masseria Mirogallo Diavolicchi Hot Peppers in EVOO
  • Seka Hills Arbequina EVOO 

Ray Phelps, Above All Vermont,
Manchester, VT

  • April’s Maple Dark Cocoa Maple Cream Truffles
  • Dorset Maple Reserve Bourbon Barrel-Aged Maple Syrup
  • However Wild Farm Vermont Comb Honey
  • Potlicker Kitchen Pineapple Habanero Jam 
  • Tout De Sweets Black & Tan Sea Salt Caramels

“Customers should look for hostess gifts with a wow factor to make ordinary recipes seem special. Think truffle infused hot sauce atop raw oysters or molasses with underlying garlic umaminess drizzled over cheese.” 
—Hunter Fike, DiBruno Bros., Philadelphia, PA

Kevin Heald Malt & Mold, NYC

  • Eat This Yum! Strawberry, Lavender Lemon Zest Preserve
  • Boxcarr Handmade Cheese Cottonbell for Valentine’s 
  • Casella’s Prosciutto 
  • Tia Lupita Hot Sauce Red, Green or Chipotle
  • The Truffliest Truffle Honey

“Celebratory food gifts that deliver quality and value—like chocolate, caviar, and Champagne coupled with a fancy cheese board with balsamic-drizzled fresh fruits and nuts—are exceptional Valentine’s fare.”
—Evelyn Ignatow, Hyde Park Gourmet, Cincinnati, OH

Evelyn Ignatow, Hyde Park Gourmet, Cincinnati, OH

  • Bon Courage French Chocolate Truffles
  • Brillat Savarin Triple Cream Cheese
  • John Kelly Chocolates Salted Caramels Vanilla Butter with Fleur de Sel
  • Kitchen28 Those Nuts!
  • Marky’s Caviar (Oscetra, Paddlefish, Hackleback) 
  • Veuve Clicquot Rose 
  • Villa Manodori Aceto Balsamico di Modena

Jenn Fox, Dash of Thyme, Denville, NJ

  • Dash of Thyme Aged Dark Chocolate Balsamic 
  • iKenbee Honey 
  • The Republic of Tea Raspberry Rose Hibiscus Tea 
  • Stonewall Kitchen Raspberry Syrup
  • Stonewall Kitchen Traditional Crepe Mix

Sylva Lin, Culinary Architecture,
Baltimore, MD

  • Big Picture Farms Caramels 
  • Honey Mama’s CocoaNoNut Bar
  • M.F.G. Toffee Co. English Walnut Toffee 
  • TBJ Classic Uncured Bacon Jam
  • Van Leeuwen Ice Cream Vegan Chocolate

Jim Miller, Fig & Julep, Tampa, FL 

  • Fig & Julep Chocolate di Torino Balsamic
  • Italian Harvest – Marella Cuori Multicolored Hearts Organic Pasta
  • Sugarfina Single Malt Scotch Cordials 
  • Ritrovo Selections Casina Rossa Sugo al Pomodoro Puttanesca 
  • William Dean Chocolates

Nicole Potenza Denis is a contributing editor to Specialty Food Magazine.

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