Laduree is the home of the modern day French Macaron selling more than 15,000 of the little cookies every single day! Can you imagine the ovens needed to produce that quantity of cookies?
The first French mac was only a fraction of what we know today. In fact it was not French at all but an Italian cookie brought by Catherine de Medici.
In 1533 Catherine, married Henry II who would become king of France a few years later. It was the Italian chef to Catherine that brought the recipe for the cookies made of almond flour, eggs and sugar.
This is still the recipe that Laduree uses today and the one that I teach in my French Macarons class. The main difference, the cookies were only 1 layer, an almond meringue.
A man by the name of Louis Ernest Laduree opened a fine patisserie in 1862 in the current Rue Royale location. Laduree was an outspoken reformist and prolific writer of the times.
Rue Royale was a nice address and considered quite posh and still is today.
A few short years later in 1871 the patisserie was burned to the ground in a social uprising.
Jules Cheret, a popular poster artist of the time was hired to design the new structure. Cheret is credited with choosing the iconic celadon green used for the exterior, interior and the packaging. He designed the chubby “pastry cherubs” that adorn the ceiling at the Rue Royale address.
In 1930, Pierre Desfontaines, the grandson of Laduree, decided to sandwich the cookies together with chocolate ganache, and the first double decker macaron was born!
But there is something else that may surprise you.
What really makes me stop in my tracks is the knowledge that at the beginning of the 20th century women were not allowed to go into cafes, they were strictly reserved for men.
Laduree helped to change all that by creating one of the first tea rooms for women.
Laduree at Rue Royale is more than a wonderful stop for goodies; it is a historic site for women. Having tea with friends in public was an absolute liberation for the women of this generation.
No wonder I love this brand so much!!
The next time you are in Paris, soak up the girly vibe that is Laduree and have a French macaron!
Or, go with me and I will take you there!