Fancy fare

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Mercedes Lebron -- Romantic food options are in abundance on Valentine’s Day.

The phrase “the way to a man’s heart is through his stomach” may be true for some, but on no other holiday is this quote taken more seriously than on Feb. 14.

Many people associate certain foods with particular holidays or occasions. For Thanksgiving, it’s turkey, but many different foods are enjoyed on Valentine’s Day. Here are some of the classics:

CHOCOLATE
As much of a cliché as it is to give chocolates, it must be expected and enjoyed with the amount of chocolate products appearing on shelves. This is a staple when it comes to Valentine’s Day. Chocolate is a classic food that is often paired with other items and food, but it is just as delicious eaten alone.

STRAWBERRIES
Strawberries are often sold dipped in chocolate. Most stores take orders for strawberries well in advance due to their popularity. If not dipped in chocolate, strawberries make their way into other sweets and recipes. For a great strawberry recipe, visit allrecipes.com and enter “best Valentine’s Day desserts” in the search box.

ANGEL FOOD CAKE
This is another popular sweet. It is easily made into a dessert when paired with any fruit or sugar. It is also easy enough to be prepared with your date if the option is available. Angel food cake is most often paired with the two most popular Valentine’s Day foods, strawberries and chocolate, except the chocolate is melted and drizzled on top. It is also sometimes topped with sugar.

STEAK AND SEAFOOD
With the holiday fixating on chivalry and grandiose gestures, many couples go out to fancy restaurants. Some of the most popular dishes ordered contain steak and seafood. With the economy in its current state, many people can not afford to eat these foods on a regular basis. However, in order to really celebrate, order the best entrée on the menu.

RED VELVET CAKE
This is another commonly enjoyed sweet. Its red color is typical of romance, and who could resist such sweet and creamy treat with its cream cheese frosting that is generously spread on top? Don’t let the cake’s color fool you though – Red Velvet cake is actually a chocolate cake with added red food coloring.

PASTA
A general romantic dinner consists of pasta. In one form or another, pasta is a popular entrée. From angel hair pasta to tortellini, alfredo and macaroni and cheese are the more popular pasta entrées ordered and requested when out celebrating at a restaurant or at home.

CANDY
While this is not a food or entrée, many survive solely on sugar on Valentine’s Day, and it could easily become its own food group. Candied hearts, sweet hearts, chocolate hearts, sweet or sour – there are many popular items that fit into this category.

With so many holidays throughout the year, Valentine’s Day is one in which food is the main attraction. This is because there’s no other time to feel more connected than when sharing a meal with someone you love

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