Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Ladurée Macarons

This weekend my boyfriend and I boarded a Eurostar in Paris and headed to England for my cousins wedding. We finally reached our destination after a 6 hour train ride which included 4 of those hours being stuck on a broken down train in Calais....but that is a whole other story! Usually the trip takes about an hour and a half.
Anyway, since this was the first time for my parents and other relatives to meet my boyfriend he wanted to bring them a little taste of Paris as a gift. What better present is there than fresh macarons from Ladurée. I went to the restaurant/bakery on Champs Elysees early in the morning and joined the line to buy the famous macarons. If you plan on going to buy some, I suggest going before 10am as the lines after this may be up to a 35-40 minute wait.

Laudrée not only sells macarons, but also serves breakfast and lunch in their restaurant. As I stood in line peeking into the restaurant, I saw plates of delicious looking food passing my by. I may have to try it one day for a special lunch out!
Once it was my turn at the counter, I was greeted by not only about 20 different types of macarons, but also fresh baked croissant, and cakes filled with luxurious creams topped off with fresh fruits. I ordered my box of 24 macarons and avoided temptations of sneaking one little pastry into the bag for my metro ride home.

If you are not familiar with macarons from Paris, they are small little "cookie like" sweet confectioneries. They are meringue-based: made from a mixture of egg whites, almond flour, and both granulated and confectionery sugar. Their name comes from an Italian word "maccarone" or "maccherone". Almond paste is the principal ingredient.

The French macaron differs from macaroons in that it is filled with cream or butter like a sandwich cookie, and can be found in a wider variety of flavors that range from the traditional (raspberry, chocolate) to the exotic (truffle, matcha tea).
Since being here in Paris, I have been lucky enough to taste a few different macarons and I can honestly say that Ladurée ones are the best by far. However, they are not easy on the wallet. Each one costs approx. 2 Euros each....but they are worth it!