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Macaroons - Parisian smarties

01.jpg„Macaroons“ – small round cakes belong to the Parisian clichés, to those more positive ones, those for which the English take Eurostar to Paris, in order to get several boxes with a coulourful scale of little cakes filled with various classical, less classical and exotic flavours fillings.

Although you can find them in many „boulangeries“ (bakeries) and also in the supermarkets, the most prestigeous and favourite are the „macaroons“ of two competitors: Ladurée a Hermé. The history of the Ladurée „macarons“ begins with Pierre Desfontaine, a cousin of Louis Ernest Ladurée, who in the middle of XX. Century had an idea to paste together two round „macarons“ and fill them with a delicious filling. This little cake, crispy on su02.jpgrface, with a dense creamy filling inside is produced every morning in the Ladurée pastries laboratory. Experts with their „know-how“ precisely dose almonds, eggs, sugar and a pinch of secret which is needed for keeping the balance of the world-wide fame of Parisian „macaroons“.

You can find in Paris the tea-rooms with the sale of the Ladurée macaroons, on the Champs-Elysées avenue (which is temporarily closed because of the recent fire), on the street rue Royale and on the street rue Bonaparte close to the Saint-Germain church. In the Ladurée tea-room on the rue Bonaparte, you have to be little patient and wait about half an hour before being seated in the room with the walls painted with the motives 03.jpgof exotic birds and flowers, and getting what you wish in the porcelaine cups and plates, with silver cuttlery. The guests are kind of a Parisian-tourists mixture, from many tables you can hear American English being spoken.

When making the choice for the „dégustation“ – tasting selection of 4 tiny macaroons you are hesitating which flavours are the most irresistible. Staying classical and choosing vanilla, chocolate, praline cream, raspberry or coconut. Or choosing more exotic fillings such us „Fôret noire“ („Black Forest“) with dark chocolate and Morello cherry, caramel with salty butter, green apple, or petal of roses. To the winter selection belong the macaroons with the chestnut, dates and figues fillings.

For each season Ladurée creates a new „perfume“, as the French call the flavours. And not only the flavours are important, their coulours are also part of this tasty seduction.

Maria Dopjerova-Danthine, Paristep