If you love sweets and are looking for a taste experience beyond the normal pâtisserie française, try the refined Algerian pastries at La Bague de Kenza.
The selection alone makes me giddy. With easily 40 trays of pastries, each different and all gorgeous, it’s hard to know where to start. The Algerian baking tradition has been influenced by the country’s Middle Eastern connections, and aromas hint at some of the ingredients: honey, almond paste, orange blossom water.
The pastries are arranged in rich pyramids of mostly gold and green, each treat nestled in a pleated white paper shell. The verisimilitude of the whimsical marzipan “fruits” means there are reds and oranges, too.
Other treasures—steeped in honey, layered with phyllo pastry, ground hazelnuts, walnuts, and pistachios, then garnished with whole nuts, or coated with royal frosting—elicited a sigh. The pastries are an intoxicating mix of heavenly sweetness, and fragrant crunch.
The names of the treats recall their exotic stature—baclawa, ktayef—but there’s no need to wrestle with words. Just point to the treats you desire. The fact that there are several shops in town just makes La Bague de Kenza that much sweeter.
136 Rue Saint-Honoré, 1st
106 Rue Saint-Maur, 11th
233 Rue de la Convention, 15
Which are your favorite sweet treats?