Raleigh, N.C. — Forget about that heart-shaped box of chocolates from the grocery store. Impress your Valentine with a gift from one of the talented food makers we’re lucky to call neighbors right here in the Triangle. Nicole Bogas, founder of NC food gift box company, NC MADE, shares the (mostly) Triangle based gift ideas she’ll be giving this Valentine’s Day.
Videri Chocolate Factory's Strawberry Anise Ganache Pack - Just a few weeks ago, Raleigh’s own Videri won a national Good Food Award for these luscious confections. The good news for you lovers out there? They’re pink! And a boxed-up six pack ready for gifting is available on Videri’s website just in time for Valentine’s Day. This combination of silky chocolate, Maple View Farm’s cream, strawberry puree, and ground anise is only available for a limited time so try this award-winning treat while you still can.
lucettegrace Limited Edition Valentine’s Day Macaron Gift Box - Crafted by pastry chef Daniel Benjamin, each of the eight macarons in this special set is inspired by a different stage in a relationship’s journey. You are encouraged to reflect on these moments with your Valentine as you enjoy flavors like yuzu, representing the spark when meeting your partner, and sea salt caramel and passion fruit, representing the emotional waves that occur in relationships. The gift set and flavors are limited edition, available by pre-order or in the Raleigh store.
La Farm Bakery Bread Baking Classes - There’s nothing more romantic than kneading dough with your loved one. Gift your Valentine an artisan bread baking class you can attend together, and you’ll both learn technique from master French baker and local treasure Lionel Vatinet. Upcoming in March at the Cary store are a Brioche & Challah class and a Coffee Filled Desserts class featuring Durham’s own Counter Culture Coffee. They also have a Death By Chocolate class on the evening of Feb. 12 -- register now before it’s too late!
NC MADE “Sweets for Your Sweet” NC Food Gift Box - Show your Valentine how much you care by gifting this collection of the best sweet treats North Carolina has to offer. In this gift box, your sweetheart will find two of NC’s most delicious -- and unusual -- chocolate bars, Escazu Goat’s Milk Single Origin and French Broad Chocolates Riverbend Malted Milk Chocolate, plus Cloister Whipped Wildflower Honey, Twenty Degrees Chocolates Bourbon-Sorghum Caramel Sauce, and a “cupig” letterpress print from Shed Letterpress. It’s all wrapped up in NC MADE’s pretty packaging. Order online by Feb. 11 for shipping before Valentine’s Day.
Looking Glass Creamery Bloomy Rind Collection - Consider a road trip with your Valentine along the Western NC Cheese Trail featuring 11+ cheesemakers concentrated in the NC mountains. Or, if you must stay home, bring the cheese to you. Fairview’s Looking Glass Creamery sells two of their most popular cheeses -- Ellington, an award-winning goat and ash pyramid, and Pack Square, a brie-style cow’s milk cheese -- in a gift set along with handcrafted crackers from Asheville’s Roots & Branches. Also consider their Chocolate Lab for your Valentine’s cheese plate -- a gorgeous washed rind cow’s milk cheese coated with a mixture of sea salt and crushed cocoa nibs from French Broad Chocolates.
Honey Wine from Honeygirl Meadery - Located in Downtown Durham, mead maker Diane Currier crafts wine from local honey varietals and seasonal fruits and herbs, all under the mission of supporting bees and their natural habitats. Her meads are a reflection of their ingredients -- the many flowers bees use to produce their honey and the time and place from where the fruits are collected from the fields. We think this is an awfully romantic gift. Available now at the meadery -- or at various triangle retailers -- are Hibiscus Lemonthyme Mead, Blueberry Mead, and Strawberry Mead.
The Parlour Heart-Shaped Ice Cream Cakes - Durham’s The Parlour makes some of the triangle’s best handcrafted ice cream, but they’re closed right now while they expand their space. While we await their reopening, they’re taking special orders for heart-shaped cakes this Valentine’s Day. The incredible flavor options include Triple Caramel Blood Orange featuring salted butter caramel ice cream, caramel cake, and blood orange caramel sauce, topped with whipped cream and candied blood oranges. There’s a Black Forest Cake with vegan option too. This would make the perfect gift to share with family and friends at a Valentine’s theme party.
Farm Dinner at Goat Lady Dairy - Goat Lady Dairy makes some of North Carolina’s most renowned cheeses. Once a month, they open their farm in Climax to guests for their Dinners at the Dairy. Participants enjoy hors d'oeuvres, a farm tour, and a five-course locally-sourced meal served in the post-and-beam, passive solar dining room of their dairy barn. The meal concludes with Goat Lady’s famous Chocolate Goat Cheese Truffles, which are reason enough to attend. You can purchase tickets to their March dinner to attend with your date, or choose a gift certificate for a future event.