22 Jun2009

laduree2

As far as family food memories go, Laduree figures at the center of one of our fondest “sweet” memories. On our first trip to Paris as a family, The Kid must have been just 7 or 8 years old, and we started off a day of sightseeing and window shopping with a subway ride that put us close to the Arc du Triomphe. Walking towards the fancy shopping streets, we passed by the main store of Laduree on the Champs d’elysee. From the entryway alone, you knew this was something special. And once you enter the store, it is the thing of childhood candy store fantasies. One of the most amazing patisseries/tea houses/restaurants I have ever seen, with the most beautiful displays of edible delights and interiors that can only be described as sumptuous. Check out their gorgeous website for more photos, but you have to see this place to believe it. On that first visit, we didn’t feel dressed enough to stay for a sit down tea or late breakfast, but what we did do was pick one of EVERY flavor of macaron they had on offer. If I recall correctly, we left with a beautiful box filled with some 20 macarons and walked about half a block down the avenue and settled onto a bench to watch the traffic drive by. Then, between the kid, Mrs. MM and myself, we proceeded to taste, each and every macaron and believe it or not, ate all 20 pieces in one sitting! Yowks! You only live once, right?

laduree1

So I am reviewing Laduree with a bit of bias, I think. This time around, we only picked six macarons including caramel fleur de sel, pistachio, raspberry, cassis (black currant), citron (which I just recently learned is NOT lemon), and coconut. These were as good as I remember them. Airy light and yet flavorful. The fleur de sel was good. The coconut, was surprisingly very good and an odd take on the evolution into the coconut macaroons of the U.S. And for the, the cassis was very good as well. As with Dalloyau and Fauchon, we would rate these at 8.50-9.00/10.00 as well… and again, the latter score if you get them at the large shops closer to the kitchens or source, rather than the satellite locations.

laduree3

These were also on the smallish side, a little daintier than some of the other macarons we tried. And as with Dalloyau, these were more pastelly in color, more feminine, I think. Two bites at most for me. But then I tend to gobble. I like the larger macarons I think.

Related posts:
The Macarons at Fauchon
The Macarons of La Maison du Chocolat
The Macarons of Dalloyau

 

COMMENTS:

  1. New Yorker says:

    Your posts on macarons always catch my attention. The little treats are so pretty to look at, and I can just imagine how divine they taste. And that is just it, I have to imagine. I am denied these little treasures due to an allergy to almonds.

    Jun 22, 2009 | 6:54 am

     
  2. alicia says:

    I think everyone who has been to Paris in search of a macaron shares your sentiment and fondness for Laduree. My first introduction to the Paris tea house came from my 4th grade French teacher Madame Gang- how should we rave about Laduree at the Place de la Madeleine! When I walked into my first Laduree as a young adult it was magical!- to tell you the truth the macarons could have tasted like cardboard – anything in this shop would have been delicious to me at that point. I was simply blown away! And that was before the beautiful mint green and/or pink and gold signature packaging too ;-)
    I think this post will generate the most comments for the search for the ultimate macaron- on nostalgia alone readers will be compelled to comment. Thanks MM. Am excited to read your new NYC posts as well!

    Jun 22, 2009 | 7:26 am

     
  3. hill roberts says:

    HI, MM.
    Just the very thing I tried to avoid when we were there eight years ago. While doing the usual tourist bit, I saw this beautifully-displayed goodies while walking down the famous avenue…just as well well we had a hearty breakfast before setting off otherwise, I would have insisted on having another tea break with my husband, who just happened to be in agony after a bad fall while in London a couple of days before taking the Eurostar. Somehow, i firmly believe that overly-decorated and wellplaced desserts make me think of those people’s saliva while they beautify each and every inviting macaron or cake or pastry just to keep clients from salivating each time they (happen) to pass by. A trick perhaps, to lure more clients like you and me? The fancier the display, the more DNA one can find in those “inviting” high calories coffee/tea accompaniments. Give me our own “suman” anytime, or biko…

    Jun 22, 2009 | 4:57 pm

     
  4. renee says:

    …drool…. I got mine from the Galeries Lafayette, and it’s always pistachio and chocolate for me. I did miss out on the caramel fleur de sel, that’s like salt water taffy isn’t it? I did want to try all and pit different macaron makers against each other (like what you’re doing now), but I was too busy getting lost in Odeon and lost track of time. It’s awesome you’re listing all these!

    Jun 23, 2009 | 1:32 am

     
  5. Murasaki Shikibu says:

    Childhood memories can bias you. I grew-up in the Philippines and no Polvoron I ever ate in Spain can match-up to the Filipino ones I can remember. ;)

    Jun 23, 2009 | 9:15 pm

     
  6. Lava Bien says:

    Nababading naman ako sa mga pictures mo!

    Jun 24, 2009 | 2:36 pm

     
  7. Glenda says:

    oh boy. now you have me craving for macarons! one of my favorite desserts in la duree is their elysee chocolat de praline – i always order that whenever we visit the place. :-)

    Jun 25, 2009 | 4:56 pm

     
  8. Lilibeth says:

    At least looking at those macarons gave me some comfort over my grief at Michael Jackson’s death. I was so happy in fact that he was coming back to the music scene and I said I will watch his concert again no matter what the cost and I am so devastated. Sorry for venting my grief here. I was thinking of making macarons this weekend but after this, I don’t know. I may just go to UCLA (20 miles from my place) and join the other fans :)

    Jun 26, 2009 | 3:25 pm

     
  9. Cecilia says:

    I am so mesmerized by the first photo! So yummily beautiful!

    Jun 27, 2009 | 5:44 pm

     
  10. Delia says:

    I had been trying different macarons from the little village patiserries we passed during our holiday in Provence last week and was a bit disappointed. On our flight home, I saw a Laduree at the airport and bought one of each flavor. My goodness!!! They were the BEST macarons I´ve tried so far (better than the Spruengli luxemburgerli!) and regretted I didn´t buy more! Now, I can´t wait to have a trip to Paris and visit different patiserries!

    Jul 30, 2009 | 8:12 pm

     
 

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