Hollieats: Love and limited edition Valentine’s Day food

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It was in the thick of quarantine last year when my Instagram algorithm introduced me to the snack side of food Instagram. Prior to my discovery of accounts like @junkbanter and @snackstalker, my food content had consisted of cooking videos and recipes, foodporn and foodie’s finds at restaurants. Nowadays, grocery shopping involves grabbing what you need without much meandering and browsing the aisles – a practice I am normally very fond of. In the absence of that peculiar pastime, I’ve sufficed with scouring social media to provide updates on what  latest foods have rolled out at groceries and fast-food restaurants. Companies have commercialized Valentine’s Day through special versions of their products based on the thematic colors of red, pink and white with indulgent flavor of chocolate. I may not have a Valentine, but I’m definitely going to celebrate the marked-down prices of these limited-edition foods. Look for them at your local grocery or favorite fast-food place! 

Chocolate and candy 

How I miss the haul of Valentines, chocolates and candies from wholesome elementary school parties. Then again, I guess there’s no reason you can’t treat yourself or a loved one to an assortment of these goodies. Fancy chocolate lovers should look out for Lindt’s dark strawberry truffles exclusively at Target and their strawberries and cream white chocolate truffles more widely sold, while Ghirardelli offers white chocolate  crème brûlée hearts. As for a more affordable, yet equally delicious treat, Dove’s midnight fudge cookie chocolates have caught my eye, although the raspberry creme Kit Kats might be a nice reprieve from all the chocolate. Hershey’s Kisses are perhaps the most quintessential Valentine’s Day sweet, with lava cake and milk chocolate meltaway flavors. But maybe you’re more in the mood for Hershey’s Hugs (milk chocolate “hugged” by white creme). Peanut butter lovers, check out Reese’s peanut butter hearts, which are bound to taste the same as the originals, but look much cuter.  

On the candy side, Starburst is offering heart-shaped jelly beans, while Skittles has an assorted love mix of flavors like white grape, strawberry, watermelon, yumberry and cherry. And of course, you can’t forget the infamous conversation hearts! 

Sweets and snacks 

Ok, now that you’ve secured the chocolates, let’s get even more sweet. Pillsbury has their classic themed sugar cookies, either in heart shape or with a heart print, as well as Grands! Cinnamon rolls with strawberry and cream icing. The brand also has Funfetti cake mix, vanilla frosting and brownie mix with cute heart candy bits instead of the classic colorful sprinkles. If you’re not in the mood for a sugar cookie, there are Nestle Toll House Valentine chocolate chip cookies or Trader Joe’s vanilla and strawberry heart shaped macarons. 

To go all in on the holiday, start off with a romantic breakfast of chocolate strawberry or blueberry heart-haped Cheerios. If you want to skip to dessert, Turkey Hill doesn’t disappoint with the seasonal flavors Strawberry Cheesecake and Box of Chocolates. 

Snacks you’ll love to indulge in to keep your sugar intake up might be Jet-Puffed strawberry hearts marshmallows; Hostess’ dark chocolate raspberry cupcakes and Valentine Ding Dongs; and Little Debbie’s “Be My Valentine” strawberry cakes, iced brownies and snack cakes.  

Fast food offerings 

Dunkin Donuts is known for its fun – but sometimes, unsuccessful – drink flavors. Luckily, its Valentine’s Day selection, pink velvet, is one of their tastier holiday options, somehow being able to capture the infamous flavor of a red velvet cake with a swirl of cream cheese frosting. However, even more importantly, Dunkin is also bringing back its heart-shaped donuts, including the delectable brownie batter donut. On the other side of the donut debate, Krispy Kreme is giving Dunkin a run for its money with four different heart-shaped filled donuts: Sprinkled Heart, filled with cake batter; Sugar Cookie Heart, filled with sugar cookie “Kreme”; Strawberries and Kreme Heart, filled with strawberries and Kreme; and Chocolate Caramel Heart, filled with caramel Kreme. Shake Shack also dropped a new “Berryz II Men” milkshake for Valentine’s Day, made of strawberries spun with vanilla frozen custard and topped with whipped cream, fudge sauce and chocolate cookie crumbles.  

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