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Valrhona Helps Pastry Artisans Make the Vegan Shift with the Release of the First Vegan-Certified Grand Cru

Valrhona marks a milestone in chocolate-making with AMATIKA 46%, the first vegan Grand Cru chocolate available for both pastry chefs and home gourmets. AMATIKA is another unique chocolate in the Valrhona collection – sweet and creamy like a milk chocolate couverture, yet powerful like a single origin chocolate. The result of passionate teamwork between sourcing teams, cocoa producers, innovation and sensory experts and L’École Valrhona’s pastry chefs, AMATIKA 46% gives artisans the opportunity to see vegan pastry as a new source of inspiration, a way to stand out from the crowd and to serve a broader range of customers.

A vegan Grand Cru of single origin from Madagascar, the unique aromatic profile of AMATIKA 46% sets it apart from other milk chocolate. AMATIKA’s melt-in-the-mouth texture reveals notes of cacao, toasted almonds and a hint of acidity, for a sensuous journey to the shade of a Madagascan garden. AMATIKA gives off subtle aromas of orange blossom, Grand Marnier and jasmine. As well as the distinct dry fruits in the ground almonds, there are also tinges of fruits such as banana, peach and lemon zest. The balance between cacao, fat and sugar delivers the perfect texture for all classical pastry making techniques with a vegan twist. It is especially suited to providing an exquisitely creamy addition to ganache and mousse.

AMATIKA 46% combines the sweetness and creaminess of pure ground almonds with the aromatic potency of pure Madagascan cocoa for unparalleled taste and texture to meet the needs and creativity of pastry chefs and artisans the world over. Born at the heart of Madagascar, AMATIKA is the fruit of Valrhona’s long-term partnership with the Millot Plantation, made from cacao beans especially selected for their aromatic intensity. AMATIKA is vegan-certified by the European Vegetarian Union, and Valrhona is in the process of obtaining vegan certification by Vegan Action in the United States. These certifications guarantee no animal-based products were used as ingredients or in any stage of its production.

“AMATIKA 46% is a bold and expert work of art created by our gourmet engineers. With its truly gourmet appearance, it marries all the sweetness, delicacy, creaminess and warm colors of a milk chocolate … with none of the milk.” – Frédéric Bau, creative director and pastry chef, L’École Valrhona.

Vegan pastry-making is not only aimed at vegetarians and vegans, who as of 2020, made up close to 14% of the world population. It also appeals to the increasing number of flexitarians and people looking to reduce their intake of animal-based products. The new art form also caters to the needs of those with allergies or intolerances to dairy, eggs and gluten, as well as any epicureans seeking to reduce their fat or sugar intake for health reasons. Lastly, it presents a new sensory experience to all inquisitive pastry enthusiasts looking to explore uncharted territories of confection.

If the vegan movement maintains the current rate of growth over the next decade, at least one in ten people will have adopted plant-based diets. However, it still presents a real challenge to pastry chefs, who must rethink their traditional techniques and revise their tried-and-tested methods. To support them on their road to success, the chefs at L’École Valrhona have created a collection of recipes using AMATIKA 46% as well as resource guides and classes to teach chefs the ingredients and techniques they need to create exceptional dairy-free, gluten-free and vegan desserts.

About Valrhona Inc. 

As a partner to pastry professionals since 1922 and a pioneer in the world of chocolate, Valrhona imagines the best of chocolate by working tirelessly to perfect its expertise, pushing the creative boundaries with a constantly growing aromatic palette and inventing the next revolution in the world of chocolate. 

Founded as a small chocolate manufacturer in the French village of Tain l’Hermitage, Valrhona oversees every aspect of its chocolate’s sustainable sourcing in more than 30 terroirs and 20 origins. These expertly cultivated and crafted chocolates are used in more than 70 countries. Valrhona has remained on the cutting edge of chocolate production and innovation by maintaining, in philosophy and practice, that pastry chefs make the best products for pastry chefs.

With its employees, chefs and cacao producers, Valrhona works to create a just and sustainable cocoa sector and to inspire pastry that is delicious and cutting-edge. Building direct and long-term relationships with producers, searching for the next innovations in chocolate, and sharing expertise all bring Valrhona’s missions to life on a daily basis. Because what happens in the cacao plantations determines the sector’s future, Valrhona is dedicated to developing the well-being of producers’ local communities and practicing sustainable cocoa cultivation.

Valrhona supports chefs by sharing the artisanal expertise of the company’s L’École Valrhona pastry chefs and by continuously pushing the limits of creativity, helping chefs to find their individual style and voice in the culinary industry. Valrhona’s ranges of couvertures, chocolate bonbons, decorations and tasting chocolates open new horizons for pastry professionals, who can count on consistent quality and flavors from a responsible partner who is committed to the environment.

In 2020, Valrhona earned the demanding B Corporation® certification, which distinguishes the most committed companies in the world who consider social and environmental impact equal to economic performance. This distinction is recognition for Valrhona’s Live Long sustainable development strategy, characterized by the aspiration to join forces with producers, employees, pastry professionals and chocolate lovers to build a model that has positive impact for the world.

Choosing Valrhona means being committed to a chocolate that respects people and the planet. 100% of the company’s cocoa can be traced to the producer, which means knowing where the cocoa came from, who harvested it, and that it was produced in good conditions. For more information about Valrhona, visit www.valrhona-chocolate.com and follow us on social media at @ValrhonaUSA.

About L’École Valrhona 

Founded in 1989, as a center for innovation and support for Valrhona’s professional clients, L’École Valrhona employs a team of 30 pastry professionals around the world who are committed to providing exceptional training and support to the next generation of chefs as well as pushing the boundaries of chocolate artisanship through the development of new techniques and products. Examples of their influence include popularizing bitter chocolate in the 1980s with the introduction of GUANAJA 70%, the bitterest chocolate, to creating the first blonde chocolate, DULCEY 32% in 2012. Valrhona opened L’École Valrhona in Brooklyn, DUMBO in 2015. For more information about L’École Valrhona, visit https://us.valrhona.com/by-your-side/l-ecole-valrhona.

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