25 Jan 2024
Valentine’s Day is the yearly celebration of love and appreciation. Sweets and treats are part and parcel of this day. And where better to look for inspiration than in Paris? The most romantic city of all and home to some of the most famous patissiers in the world. Swoon away and get inspired for your own product developments for Valentine’s Day and beyond!
How big a deal is Valentine’s Day? And what are its origins? Check out some of our cold facts and figures on the warmest and sweetest day of the year.
It's believed that the name "Valentine" refers to the name of a martyred priest and/or bishop. Pope Gelasius declared February 14th the day of the holy Valentine as early as the year 496. Other sources claim Valentine’s Day is even older and has its roots in a Roman feast that celebrates the return of fertility after the long and dark winter months.
Valentine’s Day is celebrated all across the globe, from China and Saudi Arabia to Turkey and Peru. According to an Ipsos survey across 28 countries, 55% of all adults who are married, partnered, engaged, or involved in a romantic relationship celebrate Valentine’s Day.
Richard Cadbury came up with a heart-shaped box for his chocolate gifts in the 1860s. It’s been ubiquitous ever since, and is as popular as ever in 2024.
According to the American Retail Federation, US consumers spent $25.9 billion on Valentine’s Day in 2023. Putting American consumers in a firm pole position in purchases.
In Ghana, Valentine’s Day doubles as ‘National Chocolate Day’ and on February 14th, people can attend several events and restaurants with themed menus for the special day. Chocolate Day was initiated by the government in 2007 to boost tourism.
Paris is recognized as one of the most romantic cities in the world for good reason. The charming streets and boulevards, the beautiful Seine, the grandeur of the glorious past and the mesmerizingly beautiful language all play their part. Of course, Paris is also known for its amazing chefs and patissiers who continually master and reinvent their epic traditions, techniques and creations. Do not mistake their long-standing traditions for conservatism though!
Young and ambitious patissiers are completely in sync with modern demands and worldwide influences. Trends among patissiers include plant-based patisserie, reinvented classics – giving a creative twist on well-known pastries – and the use of exotic ingredients for fun fusion creations. They take the art of patisserie to dizzying new heights. But don’t worry, heart shapes, chocolate, and pink and red colorways are still very much ‘in’ for Valentine's Day too.
Cedric Grolet is a chef and perhaps the most renowned patissier of the moment. And, of course, he cannot resist the special occasion of Valentine’s Day to showcase his talents. Last year, he opted for a white chocolate heart with pomegranate at its center. Once the white chocolate layer is broken, the sweet fruity center of the slightly Japanese sansho berry and the aromatic pomegranate reveal themselves in a perfect balance with the sweet white chocolate.
Maison Aleph is a celebrated Parisian patisserie with two locations in the City of Love. In 2023, they chose not to go for chocolate, but for another heart-stopper: beurre salée. Heart-shaped cakes were filled with this delicious caramel and made for a different, but equally irresistible Valentine’s Day gift.
Jeffrey Cagnes is a talented patissier who has his amazing creations for sale at three locations in Paris. Last Valentine’s Day, he went for the classic red chocolate heart, but with a delicious twist. Hidden under its 65% dark chocolate shell was a delicious hazelnut/sea salt praline and a raspberry marshmallow. It was a masterpiece of slightly bitter dark chocolate combined with smooth praline and the fluffy and fruity marshmallow to win your Valentine’s heart with.
Pierre Hermé is one of the most famous patisserie brands in the world, with their boutiques selling some amazing patisserie in cities like London, Tokyo, Marrakech and, of course, Paris. Naturally, they also created several items particularlyfor Valentine’s Day. The one that stood out in originality and presentation was the beautiful pink heart made of macaroons and raspberries. The soft and crunchy outside of the biscuit macaroon was prepared with rose cream and lychee and combined elegantly with the fresh sweetness of the raspberry. The signature dessert to lose your heart to was exclusively available from 10 to 14 February.