(This advertorial appeared in the Fall 2019 issue of Pastry Arts Magazine)
Founded as a fresh fruit company in 1946 by André Ponthier and his wife, Maison Ponthier has been supplying quality products to chefs for over 70 years. After creating the first vacuum-packed cooked chestnuts on the market in 1980, the Ponthier family expanded their product lines to include frozen fruit, frozen and refrigerated fruit and vegetable purees and fruit coulis over the next few decades. By 2016, the company was distributing to 65 countries all over the world. Ponthier now offers over 60 varieties of purees, and they continue to release new and unique flavors while staying committed to producing the best possible fresh fruit flavors.
One of the benefits of using packaged purees in recipes is being able to rely on their consistency of flavor, regardless of the time of year or location. Ponthier purees are about as close to nature as you can possibly get. The fruits are harvested once a year, at the peak of the growing season for that particular varietal, to ensure the best possible flavor. They are even labeled with a corresponding Brix measurement to confirm the desired sugar content. There is a minimum of 90% fruit in every flavor offered, with a maximum allowance of 10% pure cane sugar, and many flavors are offered as 100% fruit. There are no other additives in the products – such as artificial colors or preservatives – so the purity, flavor and beautiful color of the fruit is allowed to shine through.
Knowing where one’s food comes from is one of the most important selling points a chef can offer today. Ponthier is committed to clear traceability of their fruits, starting from the orchards or plantations in various countries, where they work directly with local farmers, to the production facility where the leftover or unused fruit is used by farmers to fertilize crops. Ponthier products are all traceable to their source and labeled accordingly, with a majority of them being single-origin. It is important to the company that they are a part of the entire production chain, from orchard to processing. This transparency not only promotes accountability and safety to the producers and consumers, but it can also be an added benefit in recipe development and promotion of the final product. This hands-on approach to quality is unique in the industry, and shows the passion Ponthier has for their products.
Certainly, not all varieties of a particular fruit taste the same. Being able to highlight the intensity of an Alphonso mango in a gelée, or the tanginess of a Bergeron apricot in a sorbet, can transform a dish from simply good to something unique. Having access to a variety of flavors from 20 different countries and 30 distinctive terroirs allows creativity that might otherwise be restricted due to location or season.
In addition to being able to trace the source of all of the products, Ponthier ensures safety and quality by being IFS Higher Level and BRC Grade-A certified. Their products are also tested by an independent lab to avoid pesticide residue. Whether a chef focuses on small-batch artisanal products or runs a large-scale commercial operation, the use of these purees ensures a consistent recipe and uniform product. Ponthier also guarantees extended shelf life for their products, allowing chefs the time and flexibility to work with a fresh-tasting product. Frozen purees last for 30 months before being defrosted and 15 days after, while the chilled purees last 15 months prior to being opened and 12 days after.
Purees offer versatility and reduce workload in the kitchen. While it’s easy to picture creating single flavor sorbets and ice creams, purees can provide pathways to nuanced, multiple component desserts. Applications are endless; think of all the varieties of glazes, mousses, compotes and sauces that are possible with Ponthier purees. And candies, cakes, and cookies: all of these can all be made easier with reliable, high-quality purees. The company offers flavor pairing suggestions for each of their products as well as flavor profile ratings, so chefs have an easy reference to understand the balance of acidity, bitterness and sweetness as they incorporate the purees into their dishes. They also offer full recipes and techniques to take the guesswork out of using their purees.
Ponthier has recently developed new flavor combinations of purees, such as Pineapple Yuzu Cardamom and Raspberry Lychee Rose, which offer more complex flavor profiles in one puree container. The company works closely with chefs in the pastry and baking community worldwide to ensure that they are meeting the needs of the market. The 100% fruit line is a great example of Ponthier listening to the needs of chefs and creating the very best product available. Additionally, Ponthier prides itself on partnering with some of the best and brightest in the pastry world to create amazing recipes and educate the next generation of pastry chefs. With Ponthier purees, a new source of creativity and inspiration – at one with nature – is at hand.