So, what kind of yummy chocolate desserts can you get if you buy Valrhona Chocolate? Imagine chocolate bars, both plain and flavored, bulk chocolate in bar or pellet form, and chocolate confections that include vintage creations from plantations in Trinidad, Madagascar, and Venezuela.
Valrhona Chocolat (a.k.a Valrhona Chokolade) was established as “La Chocolaterie du Vivrais” in 1922 by a French pastry chef named Alberic Guironnet. A native of the Rhône valley in southern France, Guironnet situated his company’s factory next to the Rhône river in the small town of Tain-l’Hermitage, which is located in the wine region of Hermitage near Lyon, France. As with other chocolate brands, this close proximity to the river allowed for easy access to supplies, such as cocoa beans and other necessities.
Upon Guironnet’s death in 1939, the company was purchased by master confectioner Albert Gonnet and his business partner, Bourget. La Chocolaterie du Vivrais was renamed “Etablissements Gonnet“ after its new director. Soon, the sons-in-law of Gonnet and Bourget, by name of Louis Gelet and Guy de Loisy, respectively, joined the business. When Albert Gonnet passed on, the company was once again renamed, and became known as “Gonnet-deLoisy“. This changed yet again when the official Valrhona brand was created in 1947, also becoming the company’s new title. The name was developed as a nod to the company’s original location, combining the words “valley” and “Rhône” to create “Valrhona”. The trademark for Valrhona Chocolate was adopted towards the beginning of the 1960s. In 1975, Louis Gelet retired and left his share of the company to his son Oliver. Once again, Valrhona changed hands in 1984 when it was bought by a family-owned French entity.
Today, Valrhona Chocolate is one of the world’s top high-quality chocolate companies, with 60 international distributors and five subsidiaries across the globe. It uses 250 employees to produce 3,500 tons of chocolate annually. On top of being popular with everyday consumers, it has become the chocolate to buy for pastry chefs in fine restaurants and hotels to use in their oh-so delicious chocolate desserts, along with French chocolatiers. Valrhona also manages a professional chefs school called the Ecole du Grand Chocolat, where focus is placed on the creation of pastries and, of course, the very best chocolate desserts.
Alberic Guironnet was an expert when it came to
producing cocoa, and he lived by his philosophy to “use only the best to
make the best”. Paying close attention to tradition, he made a point
of selecting the richest, most luxurious cocoa beans to be used in his
factory. This made his the best choclate in the business, and
Guironnet’s predecessors have followed his example. Valrhona Chocolate
still sources its cocoa beans from the best plantations the globe has to
offer, including one on the island of Trinidad which has since become
world-famous. The company maintains close partnerships with highly
esteemed cocoa planters and has even created new plantations to support
rare but nearly-extinct species of chocolate.
In the 1980s, Valrhona pioneered the tradition of listing the percentage of cocoa solids and cocoa bean origins on the packaging of their products. This set the company apart, and still does. Another unique feature of Valrhona is that the company does not use vegetable fat when manufacturing its products, as many of its competitors do. Insisting that vegetable fat sticks to the roof of the mouth, thus affecting the flavor and overall experience of chocolate consumption. Instead, Valrhona uses only natural fat derived from cocoa butter to contribute to a luxurious “melts in the mouth” eating experience. Because the company markets its products to both professional chefs and private consumers alike, they're priced very reasonably for those craving chocolate.
The company offers bonbons, chocolate-covered dried fruits and nuts, sticks of chocolate, and a fun product called “Chocolate Pearls”, which are puffy bite-sized balls of toasted cereal covered with a chocolate coating. They can be eaten as a snack or used for baking. Valrhona Chocolate sells other baking products, too, including various servings of baking chocolates, cocoa nibs, instructional books, dutch process cocoa powder , and more. Valrhona dark chocolate is a popular favorite, too. (Chocolate Dessert Café thinks you deserve it.)