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Apr 4, 2011 06:02 AM

Valrhona in Paris

Are there one or more shops in Paris selling only Valrhona chocolates, or is Valrhona used by other chocolatiers as a basis for their confections?

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  1. Although other chocolate brands like Cacao Barry and Pralus are seen in professional kitchens and pâtisseries, Valrhona supplies the matter for most of them. Sometimes I think I should say all of them.

    The more sophisticated places like La Maison du Chocolat have agreements with Valrhona who makes custom-made mixes for them (the client controls variables like origin, conching time, degree of torrefaction, etc.), but basically it's all Valrhona. Pierre Hermé is Valrhona. Patrick Roger I'm not sure. His chocolate bars taste so distinctive that I wonder how much of the production chain he controls.

    I'll gladly stand corrected is somebody informs us otherwise, but I think only Michel Cluizel and Pralus control the fabrication right from the plantation.

    5 Replies
    1. re: Ptipois

      I have read that Bernachon in Lyon is also one that makes their own.

      1. re: f2dat06

        Yes of course but the question was about Paris.

        1. re: f2dat06

          Denise Acabo (l'Etoile d'Or) at 30 rue Fontaine (9ème) sells Bernachon chocolates.

          1. re: boredough

            Even if she didn't, she would be worth the price of admission.

            1. re: Delucacheesemonger

              I agree - she's a hoot (a term I never use, but it seems to fit)

      2. Doesn't Detou sell Valrhona, too?

        2 Replies
        1. re: sunshine842

          Yes. In many forms, both for cooking and as finished product. I bring home Valrhona "feves" which are roughly inch x1/2 inch tablets that come in some half dozen kinds of chocolate including white. Kilo sacks, I believe. Great for melting and not bad as munchies.

          1. re: mangeur

            there's so many kinds of chocolate at Detou, that I lose track of what's there.

            By the way -- NOT Valrhona, but Detou's chocolate chunks make rockin' chocolate chip cookies (wayyyy better than Tollhouse) - if they're out of those, the batons for pain au chocolat do yeoman's duty -- just chop them into chunks and off you go. (they're tempered to have the perfect consistency when they come out of the oven.)

        2. Thank you all for your input.

          Would you recommend La Maison du Chocolat for my chocolate fixes when I visit in a few weeks?

          2 Replies
          1. re: gjrubino

            If you live in the US, LMDC has two stores in NYC and you can get their stuff easily by Fedex, register with their website, they have free shipping deals periodically throughout the year. So, given that you can get their chocolate any time in the US (again assuming that is where you live, but if not they have stores in London and bunch of other places too) I would say when in Paris go to the chocolatiers that are not readily available by mail order. The chocolate in the NY stroes is made in France and flown over during the week, they have some process to clear customs in flight so it does not sit in a warehouse getting stale or melted upon arrival (so they told me when I asked) One exception, however, is that the pastry items at LMDC are really, really good and you can not get those in the US unless you live in NYC.

            So, I say go visit Christian Constant, JP Hevin, Genin, etc. while in Paris. Maybe stop by LMDC for pastry item such as their perfect eclairs or the truly fabulous Bachus pastry item (they have a piece of chocolate named Bachus too, similar flavors). But no urgency on the chocolate since you can get it here no problem.

            1. re: gjrubino

              There are many excellent chocolatier in Paris. Though one can get Fedex or shop at different stores of La Maison du Chocolat outside of France, much of fine chocolate is best eaten fresh when the cream filled ganache are at the best. Despite it's size, LMDC still makes some of the best chocolate, especially if ones taste is more toward less bitter. And their pastries are excellent, straight forward chocolate. Other chocolatiers to try: same style of as LMDC is MIchel Chaudun; one can hop around the 6th and find some of the best: Patrick Roger (my favorite), Pierre Marcolini, Christan Constant, John-Charles Rochoux, Richart plus P. Herme, G. Mulot and Laduree; nearby on the 7e is Debauve & Gallais' beautiful old shop.

            2. Thank you again for the suggestions. I will try to stop by some of the chocolatiers you mentionned.

              I buy 3 - 1kg bags of Valrhona "nibs" - usually between 65-75% cocao solids every month for snacking. I get mine through, who repackages the 3kg bags from Valrhona, so I can have a variety each month.

              3 Replies
              1. re: gjrubino

                LMDC has a free shipping promotion going on right now for purchases over $60, code is EASTER11 when you check out on their website.

                1. re: gjrubino

                  That is one serious addiction.

                  1. re: PBSF

                    I cook with chocolate too - chocolate mousee, ganache, etc- I don't usually eat the 6 libs myself. And, I have cultivated the bitter chocolate taste in my twin daughters, who help with consumption as well.