I remember hearing in summer 2014 the sad, sad news that Raymond Berthillon, the founder of the famed Ile Saint Louis ice cream shop and next-door ice cream parlor that bears his name, had died. He was 90 years old.
Berthillon founded his namesake ice cream shop in 1954, and it was a hit with Parisians from the get-go. The shop gained international fame in 1961 when food critics Henri Gault and Christian Millau began touting Berthillon’s products as “astonishing.”
Fortunately, the shop continues to endure today, even without it’s founder at the help.
Berthillon sells both ice cream and sorbet in such unusual flavors as: (ice creams) coffee with whiskey, caramel nougat, salted-butter caramel (to die for!), Grand Marnier, lavender, chestnut, gingerbread, honey nougat, and Earl Grey tea; (sorbets) apricot, violet, black currant, passion fruit, lychee, rose, rhubarb, and lemon-thyme.
The products are all natural – no chemicals, artificial sweeteners or stabilizers – and are shipped to restaurants throughout the region. But the real treat is visiting the shop on the Ile Saint Louis.
The ice creamery offers up to 30 flavors per day, and can be had in cones, cups or – if you visit the tea room next door – delectable sundaes!
One word of warning–expect long, long lines. Parisians and tourists alike flock to Berthillon for a delicious, refreshing way to beat the heat! There are usually lines even in cold weather because the ice cream is just that good. (Ironically, the shop is closed each year for the entire month of August, and as such the company had to announce Berthillon’s passing online.)
The good news for fans of artisanal ice cream and sorbet, Berthillon’s tradition of making–and selling–top-quality products seems poised to continue well into the future.