For the unfortunate few who still don’t know about the magic of the French macaron (as opposed to the American macaroon), let me explain it to you: Macarons are 2 small, airy, almond-based cookies held together by either a ganache, butter cream or jam filling. Originally a simple almond cookie, it wasn’t until the 1900’s that it became the colorful, Frenchy treat that everyone is talking about. That was when Pierre Desfontaines had the brilliant idea to color, flavor and sandwich macarons, then sell them in his little Parisian salon de thé called Ladurée.
Ah, Ladurée: for lovers of Paris, lovers of macarons, for lovers of LOVE around the world- Ladurée is Shangri-La. Like her first pair of heels or her first kiss- a girl never forgets her first visit to Ladurée. Mine was during an early trip to Paris- I was walking along the Champs Elysées, and noticed a long line of people weaving out from the entrance of a gilded gold and pistachio-colored storefront. At that moment, it was as if fate took over. Wherever I was heading that day dropped out of my mind as my soul got in line to enter Ladurée, my body instinctively dragged along.
From the first crispy crunch to the cool, creamy finale- only 2 bites – (15 seconds!) of that Pétales de Rose macaron, I knew that my life was changed forever. Since then I’ve been a fidèle maîtresse to Ladurée macarons, tempted by the likes of Pierre Hermé and Dalloyau, but never rarely straying.
As a wedding planner in Paris, I’ve lovingly guided clients through the assortment of flavors for Ladurée’s famous pièce montée- the tall, conical tower of multi-colored macarons first invented by Ladurée for weddings and celebrations; through cassis, violette , fleur d’oranger, caramel au beurre salé and beyond. I’ve choked back tears of pride as Ladurée has expanded to the four corners of the globe, creating custom macaron flavors along the way, like cinnamon-raisin for the New York market, or coffee-cardamom for Beirut.
Sometimes I wonder what I’d do if I ever lost my lovely Ladurée. I guess if that day ever came, I’d pick myself up and find some other way to “get my macaron on”. Lucky for me the macaron craze has spread around the world, and can now be found in most major cities from Tokyo to Oslo. Of course, Ladurée will forever be my one true love, but as my grandma used to say- a girl’s always got to have a Plan B!
75008 Paris, France
1413 NW 70th Street
Seattle, WA 98117
Myatt Café and Chocolatier Shop
6244, V&A Waterfront
Cape Town, South Africa
Bougie Macaron & Tea
3 Russell St
WC2B 5JD, London, UK