Valrhona is a leading French producer of high-end chocolate from the Rhône valley region famous for its culinary traditions. The company's headquarters and production facilities are located in Tain L'Hermitage, where in 1922, pastry chef Albéric Guironnet took his first steps in creating a chocolate with a rich, complex and balanced flavour to meet the high demands of industry professionals. For almost a century, Valrhona has established itself as a global brand and school where leading confectioners from around the world share their experience, knowledge and expertise in creating the best chocolate ever made.
Key points in the technological process:
- Long-standing relationships with cocoa producers in 30 regions in 18 countries;
- Sourced from our own plantations in Venezuela and the Dominican Republic, as well as from regions with exceptional quality and diversity of cocoa varieties from Madagascar, Mexico, Bahamas, Egypt, Saudi Arabia, India, China, Australia, Chile, Brazil, etc;
- "Sourcers" (experts) who work with the growers on a daily basis and are responsible for monitoring and controlling the entire process from growing to harvesting and preparation for production;
- A strictly industry-specific and unique process of "double fermentation" of the cocoa beans (see under "Valrhona Chocolate Advantages)";
- The roasting of the cocoa beans is individual for each variety and is carried out in special containers that are heated in warm air, the aim being to reduce the humidity and unlock the aromatic properties of the cocoa;
- After roasting, the cocoa beans are crushed and grouped according to the recipes of the final product (mixing of varieties is not allowed);
Advantages of the Valrhona chocolate
A product of exceptional quality, the result of years of expertise and a unique process for the industry called "Double Fermentation."
Before the cocoa is exported for production to the headquarters in Tain L'Hermitage, France, the beans undergo a fermentation process in the plantations themselves. Once the fruit has been picked and the pulp separated, the beans are spread out to dry on special ramps exposed to sunlight. This is how the fermentation process of the sugars in the grain begins. Over the next 5-7 days, the cocoa beans are stirred several times to allow the air between them to ventilate. This creates the conditions needed for bacteria to develop and activates the fermentation of the acid composition in the bean. Once this process is complete, fresh pulp (from freshly picked fruit) is added to the already fermented beans. As the new material is rich in sugar, this activates a secondary fermentation that enhances the flavour and aroma qualities of the cocoa and gives the final product its uniqueness. It takes 10 years to train the pressman at a plantation to carry out the double fermentation process.
- Taste, texture, cocoa content and aroma distinguish good from bad chocolate. Quality chocolate has a slightly shiny surface, tastes velvety, is unobtrusive and does not melt immediately in the mouth. Chocolates with a higher cocoa content do not break into small pieces when broken;
- Cocoa is known to be the food containing the most antioxidants and magnesium of all other foods;
- Valrhona's cocoa is extremely complex and rich in flavour, which is why Valrhona's experts advise caution if you try to enhance its taste with additives, especially sugar - doing so risks destroying the taste and aroma of the final product;
- Cocoa beans differ in quality, harvest, region, taste and aroma and this determines the differences in taste of the final product. Valrhona was the first chocolatier to describe its cocoa beans as a wine, similar to how grape harvest yields are described, which is distinguished by these factors: the country of cultivation and the conditions of the specific terrain (terroir).