Move over, Russell Stover. For choosy chocolate lovers, common candies just won't do. If your girlfriend, boyfriend, best friend, mom or whoever you want to treat (yourself included) craves unique chocolate, these unusual candies are the perfect Valentine's Day gift. They may not come in heart-shaped boxes, but it's what inside that counts.
From camel milk and crickets to curry powder and coconut ash (and plenty of less alliterative options), these interesting chocolates are all worthy of adoration. And yes, sweet-salty bacon chocolate bars deserve a mention, but even that's old hat by now. Try one (or more) of these unique chocolate gifts for your discerning Valentine.
What could be sweeter for your honey than chocolates infused with an actual honey center? The filling is a rich liquid caramel, and the bees are hand painted with yellow and black cocoa butter so they'll delight even before the first bite.
Champagne is a must for special occasions, and Valentine's Day is no exception -- but why not present it in the form of pretty pink Champagne chocolate truffles? These are white chocolate with a hint of strawberry, and a creamy Champagne milk chocolate center, rolled in powdered sugar to finish. Tres chic.
A box of bonbons is classic, but a box of bars is just as welcome, especially when they come in a range of fascinating flavors like these (from maple and cacao nibs to bananas Foster). Even better: All of Raaka's chocolate bars are vegan and gluten-free, so everyone can enjoy.
If dairy isn't an issue, look beyond conventional milk chocolate. Camel milk chocolate has recently gotten easier to come by outside of Dubai (and the Chopped kitchen, where Martha Stewart once brought it along for the dessert basket challenge), but chances are good your giftee hasn't tried it yet. It's available with dates and with hazelnuts, as well as in dark chocolate form. Most reviewers admit they can't taste much of a difference, but the camel milk certainly gives it some cachet.
This Thomas Keller-backed -- and Oprah-approved -- organic extra-virgin olive oil chocolate has an ultra-smooth mouthfeel and extra antioxidants from the heart-healthy fat (which comes from famous Italian olive oil producer Armando Manni). This sleekly packaged set of milk and dark chocolate is also available on the official Keller + Manni Chocolate site.
This nine-piece truffle set from Vosges starts with high-quality chocolate, of course, and highlights inventive flavor combinations like star anise, fennel and absinthe; ginger, wasabi and matcha green tea; and coconut and curry (among some less unusual options for when your palate needs a little break). Spring for the 16-piece collection and get some additional flavors (including pasilla chiles and candied violet), or the deluxe 32-piece box for a few more (including horseradish-lemon zest and rose water-pistachio).
This painterly white chocolate confection is striking even before you bite through the sweet, creamy shell and find the tart passion fruit caramel filling. There's a touch of cardamom, too, and the company calls this flavor combo The Lover, so it's extra-appropriate.
This fragrant trio of chocolate bars features lovely botanical illustrations on the packaging and intriguing flavors inside: halvah, rose and cardamom; star anise, ginger and cinnamon; and long pepper, lemon and mace.
Ruby chocolate debuted in 2017, but is only recently getting easier to find in the form of bars and truffles. Naturally pink in color, it lends itself well to sweet rose and heart shapes, and naturally fruity in flavor, it pairs perfectly with the marionberry caramel and lemon raspberry truffle centers here.
This buttery, rich, golden brittle is studded with cacao nibs that have picked up a hazy tang from renowned bacon baron Allan Benton's smokehouse, and it's all finished off with a layer of chocolate.
Not only is this smooth and silky dark chocolate bar filled with spicy-sweet habanero-honey caramel, it has an appropriately cheeky name perfect for the occasion. And it's affordable enough for every budget. Also available on Amazon.
If you've ever dipped your fries in a chocolate shake, then you know this is good. Maybe better, since the chocolate is dark and the potato chips will stay nice and crisp. If your Valentine has a sweet tooth that's also salty, they'll be delighted with this addictive dessert -- and if you're lucky, they'll share. (There's also a dark chocolate option for those who prefer a little less sugar.)
If Nestle Crunch bars and chocolate-covered potato chips are a little too ho-hum for your honey, consider gifting these crunchy, dark chocolate-coated crickets with sea salt instead. Edible insects are the wave of the future, so may as well get on board now. And almost everything tastes better enrobed in chocolate anyway.
Chuao chocolates are fairly easy to find in grocery stores and at other retail outlets, but this lovely little gift box is a great option for Valentines who like some variety. Find a mix of flavors like sea salt and chipotle with popping candy for a little fizz; spicy dark chocolate; and mango, chile and lime.
Vegan and paleo-friendly, this chocolate bar boasts "zesty lemon caramel with a cheesecake twist" -- made with Peruvian cacao, Indonesian coconut sugar and organic lemon essential oil, but no dairy at all. You can also try a six-bar variety pack with other flavors like raspberry and mint.
Tahini has taken over desserts and we love it. These smooth dark chocolate bites are filled with pure sesame puree, milk chocolate (yes, two kinds of chocolate in one) and bits of toasty sesame brittle for a textural treat that tastes amazing.