Friday, March 14, 2014

Laduree, macarons

The history of the house as described on their site:

It all began in 1862, when Louis Ernest Laduree, a miller from the southwest of France, founded a bakery in Paris at 16 rue Royale. In 1871, while Baron Haussmann was giving Paris a ''new face'', a fire in the bakery opened the opportunity to transform it into a pastry shop. The decoration of the pastry shop was entrusted to Jules Cheret, a famous turn of the century painter and poster artist. 

Nowadays Laduree has expanded its business out of Paris and France. You can find shops in Europe, Asia, America and Australia, in 24 different countries. 

In Paris the central boutiques are in Champs Elysees, rue Royale and rue Bonaparte near Saint Germain if you are in the rive gauche. I think the most convenient place to find the macarons is on the Champs Elysees which is open every day weekends included till 23.30 or 00.30 depending on the day.

Champs Elysees


You can find many different pastries, viennoiseries, even breakfast and lunch in some boutiques-cafes. Finding an empty seat would be a bit challenging thought. I remember waiting for over an hour on the queue outside of Laduree in rue Royale and finally getting the last table available before closing. What made Laduree famous are the macarons, and no doubt they are the best around. In fact one of the two best with Pierre Herme's. 

Laduree macarons are made to have a simple distinctive and not odd combinations of flavors, with perfect texture every single time. A thin crispy layer on the outside of the shell and soft airy interior. Never non freshly made, never chewy , always perfect.  

Citron Verbena


Petale de rose




Pomme Verte

Incroyable Fraise bonbon

Chocolate, cafe

There are some limited edition macarons, some seasonals for summer or winter. Some years ago I tried the limited 1001 nights macaron which was amazing, sadly it is not available any more. During Christmas there are also some extra flavors. 

Vanilla, Chocolate, Fleur d'orange, Rose, Caramel fleur de sel, peach

Other than that, I have tried some of their pastries. Generally all of them are prepared with high quality ingredients, good care and the know-how of the many years in business. The best one I had from Laduree, unfortunately no picture available, is the religieuse Violette (other flavors available too), choux pastry filled with Violette cream and Violette frost, sublime. Ispahan and the saint honore were decent with some flaws.

As for the new brand under Laduree, named Les Marquis de Laduree, it was the idea of the chairman. Being passionate about chocolate he wanted a new brand, entirely dedicated to cocoa beans. I still haven't tried any  Marquis chocolates so I have no clue if they are good or bad. (EDIT: finally I got a box of their chocolates. All in all I was not impressed by the chocolate or the ganaches, it is not bad by any means and if it was priced in the mid-high category alongside Godiva, Fauchon etc it would be a good alternative, but with the price at 17 euros, for the box below of 100gr, or 170 euros per kilo they are some of the most expensive. I would suggest to stay with their amazing macarons and buy chocolate elsewere. In their price league Jacques Genin, Pierre Marcolini, Jean Paul Hevin). 


They also sell some expensive candles and beauty products, but I don't really care about them.

Back to macarons, you can take them either in paper bags or in the a bit more expensive boxes. Except the regular ones, there are many limited or seasonal, after collaborations with artists or fashion designers, Lacroix, Nina Ricci, Christian Louboutin etc. 

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