THE CONFECTIONIST: Laduree and the Macaron

Sunday, June 13, 2010

Laduree and the Macaron

The way the French say "macaron" does not, at all, sound like the English interpretation "Macaroon." Nor is this dessert anything like the typical coconut macaroon you can find in a can at your local grocery store. This dessert is seriously transcending. Since I knew I was going to the famous Laduree (a Parisian 'tea salon' specializing in this french treat), I had to try a macaron at a local shop first so that I could compare. I really enjoyed my first chocolate macaron, with its chewy chocolate filling sandwiched between two impressive meringue cookies. But, I had no idea what was coming. The next day, we arrived at Laduree in the morning and waited in line for this specialty. The salon was so beautiful, with warm gold and pink colors covering ever inch of the walls and floor. I felt like I was in a dream. I got three mini ones— chocolate (to compare to the traditional macaron I first tried), vanilla and pistachio. I took the chocolate macaron, closed my eyes and went for it. The texture of the meringue was not too hard which made for a clean eating experience (that's always a plus for me). The flavors began bursting in my mouth as my spirits, which were already high, lifted. When I got to the ganache, the soft and creamy filling, I realized why Laduree was so famous. Out of the three flavors I tried, vanilla was probably my favorite since it had little specks of the vanilla bean in the filling. If you ever make your way to Paris, you MUST have a macaron (or three) at Laduree.

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