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Tom Douglas on 3 Fantastic Bakeries: Ladurée

Ladurée Bakery Paris

Photos courtesy of Charity Burggraaf

Chefs at Ladurée develop a new macaroon flavor each season and serve a vast array of permanent flavors, including pistachio, blackcurrant violet, caramel with salted butter and coffee.

Locale: 16 rue Royale, 75 Avenue des Champs-Elysées, 21 rue Bonaparte (and several other locations worldwide) laduree.com

A temple to taste: Ladurée is to the world of pastry what Rolex is to timepieces and Dior is to clothes. Founded in 1862 on rue Royale, among elegant “tea salons,” opera houses and ultra-luxurious cafés, Ladurée was a Baroque art installation as well as bakery. Even today, the atmosphere remains staunchly 19th century with an attention to every detail.

A cornucopia of macaroons: Ladurée devotes an entire laboratory to the manufacture of these legendary French delicacies. Macaroons are typically small cookielike biscuits with crisp, shiny exteriors (made of coconut and egg white or coarse almond meal) and soft insides. But chefs at Ladurée develop a new macaroon flavor each season and serve a vast array of permanent flavors, including pistachio, blackcurrant violet, caramel with salted butter, coffee, bitter chocolate, red fruits and liquorice.

Those amazing boxes: “Every centimeter of Ladurée is absolutely gorgeous and thought-through, from the old-fashioned silver service to the pastries, which are as modern and beautiful as you can find anywhere in the world,” says Douglas. “But what I love most is their packaging; it’s exquisite.”

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