Friday, June 25, 2010

Ladurée or Pierre Hermé... And Now Luxemburgerli by Sprüngli.

I am caught in a sweet dilemma. When I say "macaroons" (pronounced as mac-ker-ruins), the French-speaking peeps would think I don't know my sweet confection. When I say macarons (pronounced as ma-car-horn), the English-speaking friends will go "huh?". Sweet sugar, life is hard! Hahaha. I don't know what else to do except to just eat these little yummy colourful creations.

If you love macaroons, you will know that there are two distinct camps - Ladurée and Pierre Hermé. If I have to choose between these two esteemed brands, I personally prefer Pierre Hermé over Ladurée. If I have to compare them to fashion brands, I would say Pierre Hermé is like Hermes (long queues for Birkin bags is like the long queues to buy the macaroons) while Ladurée is like Louis Vuitton (more accessible with more points of sale). However, I have been recently told by some Swiss friends that I have to try Luxemburgerli by Sprüngli. Perhaps that would be like Isabel Marant in fashion speak (so hard to get your hands on as not easily available)? Let's take a closer look together.

The Ladurée story began in 1862, when Louis Ernest Ladurée, a miller from France’s southwest, created a bakery at 16 rue Royale in Paris, not knowing then that it will be creating history in Parisian tea salons. Ernest Ladurée’s wife, Jeanne Souchard, daughter of a well-known hotelier in Rouen, had the idea of creating a tea salon, by combining the style of Parisian café and pastry shop. The “salon de thé” had a definite advantage over the cafés as they permitted ladies to gather in freedom. In 1993, David Holder and his father Francis Holder, founder of the Holder Group, decided to buy this Parisian institution, and promote and expand the famous “Maison”. Today, Ladurée is now at prime locations in France, as well as in Japan, Ireland, Switzerland and U.K.

Pierre Hermé (born 1961) is a French pastry chef whom American Vogue named "the Picasso of Pastry". He began his career when he was just 14 years old, as an apprentice to the legendary Gaston Lenôtre. He then went on to become the Head Pastry Chef at Fauchon, where he worked for 11 years. In 1996, he left Fauchon to start Pierre Hermé Paris with his business partner Charles Znaty. Strangely, he opened his first shop in Tokyo in 1998, before opening in Paris in 2001. He was awarded "Chevalier de la Légion d'honneur" by Jacques Chirac in 2007, and has been credited for reinventing the art of macaroons by introducing bold new flavours like lime & basil, launching seasonal creations such as white truffle & hazelnut, and playing with ingredients and texture.

Luxemburgerli (a registered trademark) is the name of a type of macaroons made famous by Confiserie Sprüngli, one of Switzerland's most traditional family businesses. The company prides itself on the freshness aspect and does not enter into licensing or franchising agreements with partners outside of Switzerland. Similar to the French macaroon, the Luxemburgerli is smaller in size and is lighter and more airy in consistency. Invented in 1957 by confectioner Camille Studer, the term "Luxemburgerli" was derived from her nickname a colleague gave her based on her country of origin. Available only in Zurich, do try to get some the next time you are there... or get friends to bring some back (there is a store at the airport).

Official Sites:,,


  1. I've tried all 3 and I have to say Spruengli is the BEST! :)

  2. Sprungli most definitely tops them all in: texture, color, but especially the fresh flavor! There is nothing like the mixture of the crisp yet airy meringue with the soft and bursting flavor of the filling. When I am in Zurich I insist on making the two stops: once at their main store Bahnofstrasse 21(paradeplatz), and then lastly at the Sprungli stall at the airport as I leave the city. That way Im sure I have some left over to bring some home to treat my family and friends.

  3. My husband and I have tried Laduree and Sprungli. On our last trip to Paris we went to Laduree... It was ok, but we both thought Sprungli is the the best one!

  4. Hands down Sprüngli. Ladurée is way too sweet for my taste. At the Zürich airport, you can actually buy a travel box that is made for traveling. However, you do have to consume them within 3 days max. Refrigerate it first as it tastes much better when it's cold. I love the champagne as well as other refreshing flavors. Whenever I connect flights via Zürich, I have to get myself a couple of boxes to take to my friends and family. Not cheap but you can only get them in Zürich which make it even more wonderful as gifts.