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 chocolate treats 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.Buy Now
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. Très chic.Buy Now
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.Buy Now
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.Buy Now
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 for $49.95 on the official Keller + Manni Chocolate site.Buy Now
This 9-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 (like pasilla chiles and candied violet), or the deluxe 32-piece box for a few more (including horseradish-lemon zest and rose water-pistachio).Buy Now
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.Buy Now
Porcini mushrooms and thyme may sound more suited to a bowl of pasta than a chocolate confection, but this beautifully striped milk-and-white chocolate bar contains both earthy shrooms and herbal thyme for a flavor sensation. The packaging is gorgeous too, and the bars are handmade in Pennsylvania. (You can find some flavors on Amazon as well.)Buy Now
If mushrooms are a hard pass, check out some of the company’s other intriguing flavor combos, as demonstrated in this fragrant trio of chocolate bars made in collaboration with La Bo?te (and featuring the same lovely botanical illustrations on the outside): halvah, rose, and cardamom; star anise, ginger, and cinnamon; and long pepper, lemon, and mace.Buy Now
Saffron is both a spice and a luxury good, and usually not paired with chocolate, but they make a great couple, and the golden color of the filling is gorgeous too. Compartes, which has been a celebrity favorite since it opened in the 1950s and is still beloved by famous and regular folk alike, also offers tons of other delicious flavors to suit any taste, all fetchingly decorated to boot.Buy Now
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. (Consider accompanying this with a box of the brand’s duck fat caramels.)Buy Now
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.Buy Now
Got a bourbon lover in your life? These dark chocolate-covered, sea-salt-sprinkled caramels are made with Woodford Reserve’s award-winning bourbon, plus butter and cream. For something with a cool kiss of mint and a bourbon cream center rather than chewier caramel, try their Mint Julep Bourbon Balls too. Don’t see those every day.Buy Now
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.Buy Now
Philadelphia Candies Original Milk Chocolate-Covered Potato Chips, $13.95 on Amazon
In case you (or yours) prefers milk chocolate, you (and your potato chips) are covered!
If Nestlé Crunch bars and even 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.Buy Now
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.Buy Now
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 6-bar variety pack with other flavors like raspberry and mint.Buy Now
Tahini has taken over desserts and we love it. These smooth dark chocolate bites are filled with pure sesame purée, milk chocolate (yes, two kinds of chocolate in one), and bits of toasty sesame brittle for a textural treat that tastes amazing.Buy Now
If Valentine’s beer is more your true love’s desire, give them a box of these Oregon craft beer chocolate truffles. Smooth and creamy inside with a crisp chocolate shell, I can personally attest that these are delicious, and the edible bottle caps look exactly like the real thing.Buy Now
If you like to keep things spicy, maybe even slightly sadomasochistic, how about some truffles infused with notoriously hot Carolina reaper peppers?Buy Now
A Note on Wrapping: If you choose an exotic truffle collection, you’re already covered as far as presentation, but if you opt for a homemade mix of a few intriguing bars, you can wrap them each in tissue paper and present them in a sweet heart-emblazoned bag. In any case, you’re going to make someone very happy.
Hallmark Large Gift Bag with Glitter Heart, $5.99 on Amazon
Create a grab bag of individually-wrapped treats in a romantic package.
Visit our Valentine’s Day 2019 Gift Guide headquarters for even more great ideas.
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Related Video: How to Make Exploding Chocolate
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