The red heart-shaped box sports a label that reads, "I love you like a Cuban loves croquetas." Inside, you'll find 20 fried-to-golden-perfection croquetas that would melt any heart. The entire package is wrapped in a red ribbon.
Priced at $25 per box, each order includes 20 party-size ham croquetas. All pickups will be available at Islas Canarias Bakery (3804 SW 137th Ave., Miami) now through Friday, February 14. But hurry — there are only about 200 limited-edition boxes available for purchase, says Jon Andrade, whose family owns the restaurant. "We're expecting to sell out, just like we did last year."
The restaurant, which has served Cuban cuisine in Miami-Dade for more than 40 years, introduced the croqueta Valentine's gift last year to overwhelming response.
This year is no different, Andrade says. "I put this on my personal Instagram, and people are freaking out. People are asking for several and if we can ship them." Unfortunately, shipping is not available (though you can ship pastelitos through Vicky Bakery), so you'll have to make the drive to pick up your box of croquetas.
Andrade says customers can show up at the shop now through Valentine's Day to pick up boxes, but it's best to reserve them first by calling the bakery. According to Andrade, "They'll be made fresh the same day." The croqueta king also says that, although the standard Valentine's box comes with only ham croquetas, chicken and fish varieties are also available.
Andrade says that the croqueta box is an amazing gift for anyone who wouldn't expect it and that you can give chocolate any day of the year. "It would be a nice gift for friends, family, or significant others. It's not sweet, and it's a little bit salty."
Islas Canarias Cafe Restaurant and Bakery. 3804 SW 137th Ave., Miami; 305-559-0111; islascanariasrestaurant.com. Order now for pickup today through Friday, February 14, while supplies last.