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?
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.
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.