The Ritz at Easter: The Importance of Holidays for Pâtissiers

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The Ritz at Easter: The Importance of Holidays for Pâtissiers

Festive periods are times for joyful indulgence, and Easter is no exception. At this time of year, France celebrates with a number of traditions, many of them linked to food. The origins of the Easter egg can in fact be traced to Antiquity, with early pagan rituals then blending with Christian ones. The fasting period of Lent helps explain the ubiquity of chocolate at Easter. After abstaining from rich foods such as eggs, dairy products, and sugar for 40 days, the public indulges in celebratory treats combining those delicious ingredients. 

Symbolizing spring’s renewal, eggs and rabbits have become intertwined with Easter’s themes of resurrection and rebirth. In France, chocolate bells also evoke the cloches volantes, or flying bells. To quote France Today about this tradition: “On Holy Friday, all the church bells in France are silenced. As legend has it, the bells fly to Rome to be blessed by the Pope. On Easter morning, it is said that the bells return from Rome just in time to ring out and joyously declare that Jesus has risen again. And on their way back, as they fly above the country, they drop chocolate treats -usually eggs – for children to hunt, basket in hand, around the garden in the morning.”

Fish are also an important Easter symbol, and chocolate fish can be found in chocolate shops as early as a month prior to the holiday. The boutique selections are mouth-watering, including chocolate chickens, lambs, and other creative treats.

As a result, Easter is the second most important period for pâtissiers after Christmas, as they craft elaborate pastries and desserts to showcase their culinary and artistic talents. This period also presents an opportunity for pâtissiers to boost sales and establish their reputation in the culinary industry. Let’s take a look at the Ritz Paris.

The legendary hotel has unveiled a beautiful array of pastries and chocolate to capture the season’s spirit. The pure beauty and originality of these creations are thanks to the imagination of François Perret, who has been planning this selection since last October. 

This year, Perret reintroduces his playful Mad Poule, beloved by all ages. Resembling a chic hen, it features orange legs, a yellow beak, and a proud red egret. Available in Panama 72% dark or Madagascar milk chocolate 43%, it’s adorned with small madeleines filled with coconut or hazelnut praline. A delightful blend of humor and elegance, sure to please every palate.

There’s also a selection of Easter madeleines, Perret’s signature, along with the ‘Mad Oeuf’, and the chocolate nest, which will charm any gourmand.

This year’s new addition is the breathtaking chocolate book, “Au Seuil du Printemps” by Marcel Proust. Crafted entirely out of milk chocolate, dark chocolate, and praline to create the hard back, and sheets of white chocolate for the pages, this is an impressive patisserie like no other. 

Au Seuil du Printemps” by Marcel Proust is a short story set in springtime, exploring themes of memory, desire, and the passage of time through the protagonist’s reflections on a past love affair.

Au seuil du printemps. Photo Credit: Bernard Winkelmann

François Perret decided to honor Marcel Proust in chocolate form this Easter, as he was a regular visitor to the Ritz Paris, finding inspiration for his novel In Search of Lost Time. The Ritz has commemorated this association with themed events, acknowledging their historical connection and Proust’s influence on the hotel’s culture and legacy, and now this fine patisserie

The Salon Proust at the Ritz Paris, in which you can taste the inventions of François Perret, offers a refined dining experience reminiscent of Proust’s era. This elegant space features plush décor and warm lighting, and provides guests with an opportunity to immerse themselves in the ambiance of Belle Époque Paris.

So, come and see why Easter is such an important period in the world of patisserie and taste François Perret’s delectable baked goods by visiting The Ritz Paris this March.

Available for click & collect pre-order on the website www.ritzparislecomptoir.com from Thursday, March 7, 2024. In store from Monday, March 11, 2024. 

 

Lead photo credit : Les Mad-Oeufs - Ritz Paris Le Comptoir, Photo Credit: Bernard Winkelmann

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Inspired by the rich culture that France has to offer, Poppy Pearce moved to Paris as an au pair in August 2022. Having gained a degree in Theology and Religion with Arabic from the University of Exeter, Poppy has a passion for languages and experiencing new cultures. When she’s not working, Poppy loves to explore everything that Paris has to offer, from exhibitions and museums, to restaurants and second-hand clothing stores.