Vino Con Vista Italy Travel Guides and Events

Vino Con Vista | Traveler

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Pierre Herme, Laduree, and the Best Pastries in Paris

Ladurée pastry shop with celadon green façade ...Image via WikipediaBy M Ottersen
You can get pastries almost anywhere you go, but the pastries in Paris are head and shoulders above the rest. They are absolutely superb and the only place they're duplicated is in the Dubai, Japan, or the European shops of Pierre Herme, Laduree, and others. If you live in America, you either have to travel to Paris or bribe a friend to bring some home.
Since there's a Laduree shop at Charles de Gaulle airport, bringing some back from France is easier than it used to be. But your best bet it to just go to Paris and visit as many patisseries as you can. One of the most popular pastries in Paris is the macaron, which is a sandwich cookie made with meringue, almond flour, and an unbelievable assortment of butter-cream fillings.
Laduree invented the macaron in 1862, and they're still one of the best producers. Each year, they introduce a new flavor, and a little, pale green Laduree box of them is a treasured gift.
Similar to the macaron is the financier, which is a small teacake. The boulangerie Poilane makes delicious ones. Also popular are madeleines, which originally come from Lorraine and serve as a memory trigger for Proust in Remembrance of Things Past.
Where to sample the best pastries in Paris.

Although Laduree invented the macaron, Pierre Herme perfected it with flavors like jasmine, litchi rose, passion fruit, and salted caramel. Herme grew up in Alsace as a fourth-generation baker. At 14, he apprenticed with Lenotre, and went on to work at Fauchon. He opened his first patisserie in Tokyo in 1998 and subsequently wrote a book on making macarons. Pierre Herme is also a master chocolatier, so try his truffles too.

Laduree first opened in 1862 and they have six locations in Paris, including a beautiful tea room on the Champs Elysees, as well as shops in Great Britain, Japan, Switzerland, Ireland, and Monaco. They are known for fabulous macarons in exotic flavors including blackcurrent violet, jasmine mango, and chestnut. In addition to macarons, Laduree sells amazing pastries like almond sponge cake with caramelized meringue, raspberries, and pistachio cream, and praline cream with crispy hazelnuts and almonds in puff pastry.

The oldest pastry shop in Paris, Stohrer, opened in 1730. The original Stohrer was the pastry chef to Louis XV and the French court. One of their most famous inventions, Baba au Rhum, is outdone only by the Ali Baba, which includes custards and raisins. The Parisian newspaper Figaro recently declared their éclairs the best in Paris. Their shop, which was decorated in the 19th century by the mural artist of the Opera Garnier, is lovely.

Located on rue de Seine in Saint-Germain-des-Pres, Gerard Mulot now has a shop near Place des Vosges in the Marais. His macarons are fantastic, but so are his little cakes, chocolate fondant, lemon and raspberry tarts, and caramel mousse. In fact, it's really hard to decide what to order. Come for lunch so you can try one of his delicious croque monsieur or baguette sandwiches too.

Find more Paris pastry shops here. And other France tips here.

Article Source:

Enhanced by Zemanta