This little shop from another era has been open in the same location since 1730.
Its founder, Nicolas Stohrer, invented the delicious rum-soaked cakes called baba au rhum.
Stohrer was the personal pastry chef of Marie Leszczynska, the daughter of Poland’s King Stanislas (1677-1766), later Duke of Lorraine. When Marie married France’s King Louis XV in 1725, Stohrer moved with her to Versailles.
Five years later he opened his own shop in the French capital.
The baba, however, was invented by Stohrer before he came to France. As the story goes, King Stanlislas once returned from a trip with a dried brioche, which Stohrer improved upon by soaking it with Malaga wine and adding saffron, dried raisins and pastry cream.
King Stanislas, in the midst of reading the Arabian Nights, decided to name the new pastry “Ali Baba.”
At the little shop on rue Montorgeuil, you’ll find several different versions of the baba, including regular (nature), pastry cream and raisins (crème pâtissière et raisins secs), and whipped cream (crème chantilly) alongside a wide assortment of classic pastries,
The shop is listed as a national historic monument for its facade and beautiful interior decorations. The murals on the walls and ceiling are the work of artist Paul Baudry (1828-1886), whose paintings also adorn the foyer of the Opéra Garnier.
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51, rue Montorgueil, 75002 Paris
Tel. +33 (0)1 42 33 38 20
Hours: Mon. to Sun. 7:30 a.m. to 8:30 p.m.; Closed first two weeks in August.