Sure, you can get a real French macaron all over the place in France. But, there’s something extra special about Laduree macarons.
Maybe the fashionable Parisian matrons sipping tea and delightful French families with their well-dressed (and even better behaved) children or the mind blowing coffee have something to do with it.
If you’ve never had a REAL French macaron, you might be thinking of the chewy American coconut cookie that we know of as a macaroon. Don’t. This is as absurd as comparing a slice of American “cheese” with a sliver of French camembert.
The macaron is the creation of Pierre Desfontaines, who, in the mid-20th century, had the brilliant idea of sandwiching two macaron shells around a flavored ganache filling. It is the perfect fusion of cookie and pastry and comes in every color of the rainbow.
Many flavors will be familiar—like fraise (strawberry), framboise (raspberry), citron (lemon), caramel de buerre salé (salted butter caramel), and chocolat. But, others—like Marie Antoinette or Muguet—are a mystery just begging to be solved.
The Laduree family is an integral part of the history of Parisian tea rooms. In 1862, Louis Laduree opened a bakery at 16 rue Royale, which he transformed into a pastry shop after it was destroyed by fire in 1871. Today, it is the Laduree Royale.
All three of my Laduree experiences have been at the quaint rue Jacob location. If you come here, resist the pull of the colorful display near the entry and hold out for the consummate Parisian experience at a table. If there’s a wait, be patient. If you have to come back later, do. And, be hungry. Choose a mix of familiar and unfamiliar macarons and pair them with a pot of loose tea or the aforementioned mind blowing Euro-style coffee.
If you’re heading home within a day, Laduree macarons make a delicious souvenir for those less fortunate than you.