18 Aug2015

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If you told me ANY patisserie and caterer had managed to last 285 years in the same storefront, I would have guessed you were bluffing. Seriously, this place has been selling nibbles of the most royal kind since 1730 on this same street in Paris! Yowks! That’s really amazing. Really amazing. Stohrer has photos of Queen Elizabeth II who paid them a visit several years ago, probably one of the few upscale foodshops she has ever popped into on trips abroad…

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Suffice it to say that the delicacies, appetizers, cakes, pastries on display were all rather fancy looking. I suspect they don’t really make their living from retail sales, but rather from catering big events. Having said that, there was a steady stream of tourists popping into the shop all day long. I had heard of Stohrer before, but didn’t really know much about them, and certainly not their impressive longevity!

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We didn’t go into the shop this time around, but perhaps the next time I am in Paris, we can pick up a nibble or two, if only to pay homage to a food institution that is likely to make it to it’s 300th anniversary in 15 years time… :)



  1. Caesar says:

    The inventors of baba au rhum. Avez-vous goûter?

    Aug 19, 2015 | 3:22 am


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  3. Footloose says:

    It was in the workshops of storied establishments such as this where they noticed that the work tables were too low for present day employees. Apparently, their original heights from the eighteenth century have not kept up with the gradual rise in physical and legal stature of modern day labourers. Not only were the pastry apprentices of earlier times shorter but the owners probably employed young children too, waifs like Cosette, to do the duties that demanded less skill.

    For those wondering about what they do with the unsold perishable epicurean treats at the close of each business day, they are collected by volunteers and get served to the “less fortunate” in parish centres all over the city.

    Aug 19, 2015 | 7:05 am

  4. Junb says:

    A true masterpiece … A great work of art. Once I told a friend that I consider a great chef an artist and he just smile at me and say thats not art. Well I guess, he have not seen a masterpiece like those in the photo above :)

    Aug 19, 2015 | 8:25 am

  5. Junb says:

    Thanks footlose for another great inside story !!!

    Aug 19, 2015 | 8:26 am

  6. Artisan Chocolatier says:


    Aug 19, 2015 | 8:37 am

  7. ami says:

    Just had to laugh at Footloose’s Cosette reference.

    Aug 19, 2015 | 9:11 am

  8. Marketman says:

    Footloose, doesn’t it surprise you that the shop survived the Revolution? I mean if cake/bread was such a rallying point, don’t you think this kind of place would have been miserable with no clients for years and years… :)

    Aug 19, 2015 | 9:29 am

  9. Lee says:

    Another lesson learned from Footloose. Did the “less fortunate” also benefit from the absence of refrigeration and had a steady supply of perishables like meat and fish at the end of the day?

    Aug 19, 2015 | 12:37 pm

  10. Footloose says:

    Yes, they dispatched members of the aristocracy at a newly discovered industrial pace so Stohrer and his ilk just probably laid low. Besides, precious white flour was in short supply and had to be used sparingly. The newly liberated citoyens of course did not have brioche to eat as their former queen callously suggested, had to adjust their taste to bread made from a blend of rye and whole wheat flour. Max Poilâne was asked to revive the recipe as part of France’s bicentennial celebrations in 1989.

    Incidentally, many highly skilled culinary artisans of course lost their patrons from high nobility and so started offering their expertise to the newly empowered bourgeoisie by opening restaurants.

    Aug 19, 2015 | 5:09 pm

  11. peg says:

    happy happy birthday, MM! :)

    Aug 19, 2015 | 9:13 pm

  12. -g- says:

    Ah, what a thrill to discover Stohrer many moons ago. Every year I go to Paris for a break and I always stop by here to buy goodies. Then I walk to G. Detou to buy some more!

    Aug 19, 2015 | 9:40 pm

  13. Khew says:

    Nearly 3 centuries ago, they probably didn’t have the kind of ingredients we take for granted today, and certainly none of the Escoffier organisation and methods which are the basis of contemporary patisserie classics.

    I’m guessing they had bread which weren’t too white even as they tried their best; very rough cakes due to the lack of refined flour and no granulated sugar; spicy, rancid cocoa products because there was neither dutching nor separation of the cocoa butter and certainly no chocolate; and gelatines which still tasted of animal. Vanilla was used very sparingly while rose and citrusses did most of the flavouring.

    Aug 23, 2015 | 10:30 pm

  14. Footloose says:

    Came across somewhere that gypsum was used in England in the eighteenth century to whiten bread. Boy, it must have turned out chalky bread that was hard to masticate thoroughly.

    Aug 24, 2015 | 3:10 am


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