The classics are classics for a reason, and one thing we guarantee: whatever other unique or interesting things she may be into, your woman loves chocolate. However, that’s not a free pass to swing by the drugstore on the way home and pick up a platter of Hershey’s Kisses. Your chocolates have to stand out from the assembly line crowd. They need to be edible works of art. If you’re on her doorstep with one of these five premium products under your arm, “cliché” will be the last thing on her mind.
Multiple winner of the Academy of Chocolate’s “Golden Bean” award, Tuscany-based chocolatiers Amedei are best known for their elegant pralines; a thin layer of milk chocolate housing an explosion of her favourite flavour, each shell hand-crafted by master chocolatiers, using pure cocoa butter from South America and the Caribbean. You can’t go wrong with the classic assorted praline spread, but we give the nod to a gooey, six-filling pack of truffles. 12-pc truffle box: $35 chocosphere.com
Making her melt since 1836, Switzerland’s Confiserie Sprüngli is one of the most revered labels in a region renowned for world-class sweets. The chocolate itself more than lives up to the vaunted Swiss standard, and it’s infused with a wide range of unique, intoxicating (sometimes literally) flavours; however, just as impressive is the way the components are sculpted together to create a work of culinary art that’s as appealing to the eyes as it is to the tongue. Valentine cube: $85 spruengli.ch
If you’re looking for something a little closer to home, Fran’s Chocolates in Seattle make the best caramels on either side of the Atlantic. Slow-cooked using only pure organic ingredients, these buttery, elegantly textured caramels are known for being combined with some mouth-watering, albeit unusual flavouring; a tray of their singular Gray and Smoked Salt creations is sure to leave an impression. 40-pc Gray and Smoked Salt Caramel tray: $50 franschocolates.com
Any sweets from the world’s most romantic city will inevitably carry some added V-Day appeal. Renowned cocoa savant Jean-Paul Hevin owns shops across the world in Japan, Hong Kong and, yes, Paris. Consistently rated among the world’s best, Hevin’s chocolates are hand-sculpted and quite uniquely flavoured from a collection of forty spices, liquers, fruit fillings, and sometimes even cheeses. His catalogue is extensive, but our top lovers day choice is the “Mrs’” Package, complete with assorted milk chocolates, a bottle of wine and a jar of raspberry jam. “Mrs’” box: $110 jphevin.com
While we may not have the rich chocolatey history of the old nations, Canada is home to a handful of world-class confectionaries; foremost is Calgary’s Chocolaterie Bernard Callebaut. Year-round, they produce the absolute finest chocolate you’ll taste on this side of the border, but it’s in February that things really get interesting. For Valentine’s Day, Callebaut and co. present a series of holiday-themed creations, including the Chocolate Rose and the Chocolate Heart—a heart-shaped container made of milk or dark chocolate, overflowing with up to 45 individual treats. 45-pc Chocolate Heart: $90 bernardcallebaut.com