I wish all Parisian pastries were stunning works of art that operated at the absolute limits of complete tastiness. Sadly, most are just vaguely amusing to regard and pleasant enough to enjoy eating. There are only a dozen shops that truly make a go at developing astoundingly delicious pieces, and among that delicious dozen, there are maybe five shops that forge talent together with effort in order to make visual masterpieces.
Ladurée is one of those few pâtisseries that succeeds in crafting truly eye-catching work – e.g., La Fraise or Divin. Even if you’re super ****** and think those designs are pandering and overdone, you’ve still got to tip your chapeau when you realize others like the
famed hyped Blé Sucré turns out this garbage. Do I still often accuse Ladurée of doing sloppy work? Yeah, because I mean … look at the piping running up the head of the above. And does Ladurée truly excel in developing taste sensations? No, not often, but it’s usually at least “very good” and rarely anywhere close to disappointing. And what about the subject of today’s review – the Religieuse Pistache? Well…
If I had to grade it, I’d give it a B-. It’s certainly much better than a neighborhood pastry shop could do, but it’s not close to what it could be. Not to say that the crème sucked; it was good – just . . . good and nothing more.
As for the rest of the religieuse, the chou was decent – standard – maybe a bit dry. The pistachio shellacking about the tête and corps of this little one was, much like the interior, a tad oversweetened. And then of course there were the 5°-angled squirts aside the head. [Paging your neighborhood supermarket and/or 4th rate pastry shop] I think a certain stagiaire is ready to return to icing cupcakes back in Parsippany, NJ.
I’m being a little hyperbolic in the above. But of the two of these I’ve purchased in the last week (cause I always retaste/retest before I write), the second had maybe 5 grams of crème in it. It wasn’t even really filled. I think the “chef” felt a little resistance in their poche and decided to not give a **** whether the ridiculously expensive pastry was actually . . . What’s the word I’m looking for? Oh, yeah . . . salable.
The first one I purchased here was filled…
So, eh, this might not be the best purchase at Ladurée. Their Harmonie, Divin, Tarte Tatin, Religieuse Rose, La Fraise, and others are great ones to snag. And while their macarons are suffering a bit these days, there are still classics like the Fleur d’Oranger, Réglisse and Cassis to purchase too many of and enjoy. That said, a visit to Café Pouchkine or Jacques Genin would likely be a more rewarding adventure.