Ask yourself this: if you don't have kids or don't receive trick or treaters, does that prevent you from eating Halloween candy? No? Good. Then regardless of your relationship status you should feel fine eating chocolate on Valentine's Day. What you call the most clichéd trick in the book I call the foremost ritual of Chocolate Appreciation Day.
With that out of the way, here's an assortment of Valentine's-friendly chocolates, favorites of the Serious Eats team and our Sugar Rush bureau chief.
Classic Chocolate Boxes
Belgian import Neuhaus doesn't make especially novel chocolate, but if you're looking for that classic red box look or intricately designed sweets, they'll do you right. Their specialty is nougatine, a sheet of toffee-like candy (a blend of nuts and sugar) that's cut into squares, folded into little purses, filled with a flavored cream, and coated in chocolate.
A step up in sophistication brings you to Payard and Jacques Torres, both of which make all kinds of truffles and caramels worth your attention. Also consider Japanese import ROYCE' Chocolate, which specializes in ganache-like squares so soft they just melt in your mouth.
But our absolute favorite chocolate truffles come from Kee's, a tiny shop in Soho with original truffles like black sesame and makrud lime. Kee's chocolates are always impressively flavored and fresh.
Bars for Purists
Chocolate purists may prefer chocolate bars to candies. For the best selection in New York, visit The Meadow's world-class shelf of bean-to-bar chocolate and ask the friendly salespeople to help narrow down your choice. For some good made-in-New-York chocolate? Try one of Cacao Prieto's single origin bars.
Or you could just say, "Screw normal chocolate, I'm getting you candy bars" instead. And with varieties like apricot with black pepper, passionfruit with rice crispies, and something called "Chocolate Doom," Liddabit Sweets is your place to go. Or get some of the first class chocolate-covered bacon or pretzels from LES shop Roni-Sue's.
Of course chocolate novelties can also mean some fancy-pants sweets, and that's where La Maison du Chocolat excels. Their intricately designed chocolate sweets are akin to what you'd find in a fine dining restaurant's pastry department, but they're all available to go, wow factor and all.
Anything We Missed?
These are just a few V-Day-friendly suggestions, so tell us, where do you buy chocolate gift-giving (or treat-yo-selfing)?