Thursday, February 9, 2012

What’s the Most Romantic City in the U.S.?

Want to know the answer? We found out at! The most romantic burb in the U.S. is Salt Lake City, based on the number of Valentine’s Day recipe page views. Runner up is Des Moines, Iowa, and right behind are a cluster of Pennsylvania cities (Harrisburg-Lancaster-Lebanon-York) and (Wilkes Barre/Scranton). Omaha, Nebraska, is among the top five too. Sweet! Cooks in these cities must have cupid doing dishes in their kitchens.

Here at Allrecipes we love to slice and dice site information to see what recipes American home cooks are stirring, roasting and mixing in their kitchens. For example, the top Valentine’s Day desserts included red velvet cake and red velvet cupcakes (10 recipes among the top 100 overall recipes!), various cookies (7 recipes), chocolate cakes (5), brownies (3), strawberry tiramisu, and chocolate strawberries. There was one big surprise: pizza – Valentine Pizza – ranked #1 overall among the Top 100 Valentine’s Day recipes. Could you have guessed?

Top 20 Overall Valentine’s Day Recipes

RankRecipeValentine's Week % +/- 2011
1Valentine Pizza2348%
2Strawberry Tiramisu For Two2015%
3Easy Valentine Sandwich Cookies1960%
4Chocolate Chip Cheesecake Brownies1481%
5Blue Cheese Crusted Filet Mignon With Port Wine Sauce1411%
6Spaghetti Pizza I1106%
7Parmesan Knots1042%
8Cream Cheese Cut Outs II902%
9Lobster Colorado892%
10Chocolate Strawberries873%
11Frozen Peanut Butter Cheesecake834%
12Egg And Cheese Waffle Sandwich769%
13Apple Glazed Pork Tenderloin629%
14Crab Stuffed Filet Mignon With Whiskey Peppercorn Sauce621%
15Scrumptious Shrimp Scampi Linguine605%
16Double Crust Stuffed Pizza585%
17Red Wine Reduction Steak Sauce583%
18Sexy Shrimp Scampi567%
19Easy Yet Romantic Filet Mignon535%
20Lobster Tails Steamed In Beer515%

Valentine’s Day is also fun because of so many regional differences for favorite recipes. For example, home cooks in the Northeast love seafood and Italian dishes. Among the most popular Northeast recipes: Maryland Crab Cakes rank #1 and #2, Easy Chicken Cutlets, scallops, oysters, clam bakes, Seafood Piccata and Lemon Chicken Piccata, variations of French onion soup, Sausage-Stuffed Eggplant, and numerous pasta dishes were among the most popular recipes. Just two dessert recipes made the Northeast’s top 25 Valentine’s Day recipe list, both with ethnic overtones: Italian Love Cake and Alsatian Chocolate Balls.

In the Southeast, home cooks adore oysters, duck, and all sorts of Valentine’s Day desserts; 12 of the top 25 recipes for this region are desserts. Pralines are the #1 favorite, followed by Deep-Fried Oysters and Oysters Rockefeller, and four are for strawberry or cherry cakes.

Home cooks in the Midwest looked most for chicken dishes and French toast for their Valentine’s Day festivities. One favorite, Strawberry Pretzel Salad, the Midwest’s top recipe, was only 41% more popular than the U.S. average, compared to other regions where the most popular recipes were more than 2X higher than the U.S. average.

Strawberries, especially Real Strawberry Cupcakes, are Valentine’s Day favorites among Southwestern cooks—along with everything else, which includes Bacon-Wrapped Barbecue Shrimp, Cedar Planked Salmon, Boiled Lobster, Lobster Colorado, Tom Yum Koong Soup, plus a simple yogurt crunch dessert. Popular strawberry dishes included two versions of chocolate-covered strawberries and two strawberry salads, one with avocado and the other with feta. What’s not to like?!

As you might guess, home cooks in the West prefer lighter fare and more vegetables for Valentine’s Day entertaining. Bodega Bay Cioppino and two Swiss chard dishes pulled top rank for the top three recipes, followed by two asparagus dishes and Tom Yum Koong Soup. Cherry Balsamic Short Ribs, Coconut Curry Chicken, and tarragon chicken were the only meat dishes among the top 25 recipes for this region. All others were vegetables, seafood such as Lemon Rosemary Salmon, or desserts. Top dessert recipes included shortbread cookies, chocolate mousse, cream puffs, truffles, and ├ęclairs, plus Love Letters, lemon-flavored sugar cookies folded to look like an envelope and sealed with a candied cherry.

What’s your special Valentine’s Day dish? Share it here, or tell us what new recipe you’ll try from the ones listed here.


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