I’ve never been one to scoff at a surprise gift ofor (dark chocolate, in case anyone I know is reading). But if you’re looking for a Valentine’s Day food gift with a little more meat on its bones, there are endless options to whet even a caveman-esque appetite. The internet is chock-full of edible gift ideas for the big guy in your life, from cured beef bouquets (you read that right) to fine artisan sauces, boxes of high-end Wagyu steak and even some Valentine’s Day-themed bagels fresh from a New York bakery. A good bottle of bourbon or cologne is always nice to unwrap but, honestly, you can probably do a little better if you put your mind to it. And we’re willing to help.
We tied on our linen napkin and rolled up our sleeves to serve you up some of the best food gift ideas for the boys on Valentine’s Day. At the time of this writing, all of these satisfying gifts have a shipping option to ensure arrival before Feb. 14, but we’d suggest double-checking with the vendor before placing your order.
This grand bouquet of cured meats is good for a chuckle but there’s some seriously tasty stuff in here too. In place of the traditional red roses, you’ll find 8 ounces of soppressata, calabrese and chorizo salame as well as four unusual jerky sticks such as buffalo and whisky-maple or venison root beer and habanero. It’s all stuffed into a pilsner glass so you can sip on some cold beer while sampling the arrangement of salty meats.
Cholesterol jokes aside, this is another meat gift with a Valentine’s Day sense of humor. Sure, you’re paying a little extra for the clever butchering, but this is still USDA Prime dry-aged strip or rib steak. It will make for an excellent and romantic dinner for two.
The Chef and the Dish
There’s no substitute for a good education and this pandemic-friendly service connects you with real, live, professional chefs via Skype to teach you how to make delicious things. Global cuisine is represented by chefs from the actual places they originate such as Brazilian steak, Hungarian goulash or sushi from Japan. Some solo classes are as inexpensive as $149, but most start at around $299 for two people, plus ingredients.
With so many cooking classes available through The Chef & the Dish, your best bet might be to send a personalized gift certificate, which you can buy in any amount.
Read more: The best cooking classes to gift your Valentine
A dozen New York bagels is probably a safe bet for most people but give it a special red swirl and they’re Valentine’s Day ready. You can add a tub of cream cheese, lox or black-and-white cookies to make this a real-deal New York deli experience, no matter where you live.
Food adventures have been tricky this past year, but Goldbelly helps bring some of the best eats from iconic American restaurants to the safety of our homes. The Pastrami Queen sandwich kit is a great example and a dynamite Valentine’s Day gift for a fan of cured meats or hearty sandwiches. The kit includes a pound of salty sliced pastrami, eight slices of Orwashers rye bread, four pickles and proper New York deli mustard.
Holy Grail Steak Co.
If he’s serious about his steak, this is going to have your guy doing flips and probably breaking out the grill even in the frigid February — though some quality cast iron will work just as well. Wagyu is about as good as beef gets and the uber-rich taste profile means a little goes a long way. Holy Grail’s Tajima America Wagyu is less than $40 for 8 to 10 ounces of beef that’s fit for a very special occasion.
Your man may not love your mom but if he happens to love umami, this is the barbecue sauce to snag him for Valentine’s Day. The exact recipe is a carefully guarded family secret but we can tell you it’s made from a pitch-perfect combination of mirin (rice wine vinegar), ginger, garlic and green onion. It also comes in a cool bottle, and I personally can’t stop putting it on everything I eat.
Being a beer nerd has never been more fun but there are still tons of amazing craft creations that you just can’t get unless you live near a brewery. Beer Drop helps get those beers from lesser-known microbreweries out to you via a monthly curated drop of 10 beers from five breweries (two of each selection) for $40 a month. For a beer fan, this is about as good as subscriptions get. Sorry, Disney Plus!