I imagine it was just a matter of time before someone thought of these. But the explosion of new Food gift ‘Bouquets’ for Valentine’s Day this year has me reeling. And I don’t mean reeling with dizzy excitement. I mean, reeling with astonishment at some of the themes they’ve come up with…
I came to terms rather easily with the Chocolate Bouquets that first appeared several years ago. Cookie arrangemenmts have been around for a while, now. They’re a good fallback if you don’t know your Valentine’s preference in Candy Bars. It seems that the Candy Bar makers all got the idea of mini-Bar arrangements at about the same time a couple of years back. Chocolate and Valentine’s Day go together like a horse and carriage. I was a little concerned about the food safety of the Pizza Bouquet that blossomed and faded so quickly last year. But on balance I found it more amusing than alarming.
On point to this discussion, but not new and not questionable in the least is the year-round custom epitomised by Edible Arrangements Fruit and Candy ‘Bouquets’ for all occasions. Yum! – and good for you, too.
But I’ve noted a twisted sort of subculture in Valentine’s Day Bouquets this year, one which has me a little worried, on a number of accounts.
The Pickle Bouquet
That’s right. A sour Pickle Bouquet for your sweetie. Counter-intuitive, at best. But the Pickle Bouquet went from curiosity to viral ‘must’ after the Today Show interviewed its creator, from Grillo’s Pickles. I have to say, right off, that I like the idea, sort of, but I’m not at all into the presentation (see photo above). Looks more like an explosion in a Pickle platter than a Bouquet. But to each their own. I expect that these Bouquets, like Edible Arrangements, are made up to order just before delivery. But I worry about the freshness and wholesomeness of the thing suffering in delivery. I know, I know: Pickles are self-preserved. But they don’t last forever without going bad.
The Bacon Bouquet
We all know someone who loves Bacon more than Chocolate itself. For them, there’s the Bacon Bouquet, originated by BaconBouquets.com. Or, you can make your own simply by spiking Bacon Strips on wooden skewers and baking them in the oven until crispy. You can also make Bacon Skewers with chunks of cooked Bacon, Cherry Tomatoes, Cheese Cubes and other stuff that goes together. Don’t forget the Bacon-wrapped Jalapeño Popper Bouquet. And there’s always the skewer that sports alternating pieces of English Muffin, Fried Egg, Bacon and Cheese.
A beautiful handcrafted Bacon Rose Bouquet by BaconAddicts.com.
I wouldn’t mind receiving one of those for Valentine’s Day, but I’d worry about the freshness and safety. If you happen to get one, I strongly recommend you reheat the skewers to at least 165 F in the microwave or conventional oven before consuming your treat.
The Beef Jerkey Posey
A classic Posey is a small bouquet of the most fragrant flowers England’s Cornish Coast has to offer. They were originally used during the Great Plague to ward off disease and make the smell of decaying bodies less noticeable. Remember the childhood rhyme? “Ring around a Rosey / Pocket full of Posey / Husha husha / All fall down”… Anyway, small bite-size pieces of Jerky on skewers, mimicking flower blossoms, are apparently a thing in the rural regions and tougher neighbourhoods this year. They don’t need any special attention, re.- preservation or serving. They’re smoked and salted and dried to death.
The Chicken Nugget Bouquet
This is more a do-it-yourself thing, too – unless you’re a fan of the Golden Tulips Atelier. For the home-made version, you’ll almost certainly outsource the Nuggets/Tenders/Boneless Wings to a specialist like McDonald’s, Popeye’s, Chick-Fil-A or the Colonel. No, that’s not cheating. It’s your artistic expression that carries the true emotional value of your Chicken Bouquet, not the ingredients.
Add Dipping Sauce Packets or even Fries, if you like. But again, do include instructions to re-heat to at least 165 F before eating.
The Beer ‘Bouquet’
Not really a Bouquet, but a Bucket of Coronas (or whatever suds your beloved Beer lover loves) garnished with whatever Beer accessories (munchies) you feel appropriate. If you’re feeling generous and/or really, really love the guy, this one pairs well with any of the Bacon or Chicken Bouquets, above.
Make your Valentine’s Day bloom…
… With Novelty Food Bouquets of all sorts. If you dare. Just make sure you tell the lucky (?) recipients to re-heat the meaty ones to a safe, bacteria-killing temperature before consuming them. And store the leftovers in the fridge.
~ Maggie J.