Sorry fellows, it is Tea Time, and, being in Paris, what do you think I’m having ?
Tea alright, but with what ??????
Follow the lesson …
While sipping tea, I will tell you in a whisper a little of the history of the LADUREE gang of macarons.
It all began in 1862, when Louis Ernest Ladurée, a miller from France’s southwest, created a bakery at 16 rue Royale in Paris.
During the same year, the first stone of the Garnier Opera was laid, and the area surrounding the Madeleine
was rapidly developing into one of the capital’s most important and elegant business districts.
The most prestigious names in French luxury goods had already taken up residence in this neighborhood.
In 1871, while Baron Haussmann was giving Paris a ‘‘new face’’, a fire made access to the transformation of the bakery to a pastry shop.
Under the Second Empire, cafes developed and became more and more luxurious. They attracted Parisian high society. Along with the chic restaurants around the Madeleine, they became the showcases of the capital.
The beginning of this century found Paris wrapped up in a frenzy of distraction and going out in public. Parisians flocked to the Universal Exposition. Women were also changing. They wanted to make new acquaintances. Literary salons and literature circles were outmoded.
Ernest Ladurée’s wife, Jeanne Souchard, daughter of a well-known hotelier in Rouen, had the idea of mixing styles: the Parisian café and pastry shop gave birth to one of the first tea salons in town. The “salon de thé” had a definite advantage over the cafés: they permitted ladies to gather in freedom. Jeanne Souchard succeeded in combining the turn-of-the-century trend to modernism
with knowledge of the merits of a craft transmitted by her family.
These small, round cakes, crisp on the outside, smooth and soft in the middle, are made every morning in Ladurée’s “laboratory”. The pastry chefs measure out very precisely the required amounts of almonds, eggs and sugar, before adding one final ingredient, a pinch of unique “know-how”, essential to the making of such a delicacy. Once cooked and filled, the macarons are put to one side for 2 days before going on sale, the time it takes to achieve a perfect balance between texture and flavour.
With each new season, Ladurée pays tribute to its most famous creation by creating a new flavour.
All the photographs come from the excellent Stellarresque42.tumblr.com and the text from the Ladurée website.
LADUREE SHOPS IN PARIS :
21 Rue Bonaparte
01 44 07 64 87
16 Rue Royale
01 42 60 21 79
75 Avenue des Champs Élysées
01 40 75 08 75