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No. 52: Les Macarons

IMG_8650I love the French macaron. And to think, 4 years ago, I had never even heard of this whimsical creation. If you’ve never seen one, these charming double-deckered dots, look impossibly similar to multi-colored miniature hamburgers buns that you might find in your daughter’s dollhouse. They are gorgeous from top to bottom.

While I like the unusual and trendy flavors (this season Ladurée is featuring les baies roses—pink peppercorns) and the fanciful colors, when it comes to macarons, it turns out I’m a plain-Jane-vanilla kind of girl.  J’adore le parfum vanille—that, and the pistache.

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During my time in France, I have probably eaten at least one hundred of these colorful, cream-filled confections. Don’t tell Superman, but at €2.25 a pop, that’s roughly $300 worth of cookies. It’s my guilty pleasure, so sue me.

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There are several ways I like to eat them. I savor them in a cozy salon de thé with un café noisette, or depending on the flavors I order, a cup of chocolat chaud. I also love eating them on a park bench at lunchtime watching the world go by. Often I bring them home to the family as a special after dinner treat. This is my preferred method for enjoying les macarons. We usually share a box of 6-8, cutting them in quarters or halves, so we can all taste a bit of each. Sometimes I make the family close their eyes to try to figure out the flavor, other times I make them wait while I meticulously set them up for a photo shoot. I always suggest a sip of water to clear the palate between tastings. But the most important thing I have found to enjoy this indulgence is to make the time to relish every tiny bite…the taste, the smell, the texture and the view. Les macarons are scrumptiously edible art, exquisite and very, very French.

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Vocabulaire

chocolat chaud: hot chocolate

J’adore le parfum vanille: I love vanilla flavored

pistache: pistachio

salon de thé: tearoom

un café noisette: an espresso with a small bit of steamed milk

9 Comments Post a comment
  1. After years of saying “I’ll go in and buy a few” yesterday, ironically in Switzerland, I finally did. I don’t blame you for spending and spending on these. They are simply amazing. I opted for pistachio and vanilla. So good, I wish I’d bought a box full. X

    November 19, 2013
    • So glad you finally went in and bought some. They are such a delicious and gorgeous treat. Funny you went for the vanille and pistache too. Café and caramel au beurre salé are also fantastic…and bien sûr chocolat noir…

      Thanks for reading! Et bonne dégustation…

      November 19, 2013
  2. Sarah Larson #

    I’ll show your post to one of the women in my French class. She is a marvelous baker and last week she brought macarons to our class which she had made, flavored with rose petals from her garden. Our teacher (from Normandy) said they were as good as the macarons she has eaten in France. Your photos are scrumptious – the white ones look like a wedding cake!

    November 20, 2013
    • I am going to have to learn how to make macarons when we leave France. Right now it seems like a silly thing to do, because there are so many wonderful shops to buy them in. Still, I should probably take a class…

      November 21, 2013
  3. My favorite is “Fleur d oranger”
    If you miss France have a look at my blog.
    For example post on Paris
    http://parislux.wordpress.com/oh-paris-part-i-tocadero-and-the-latin-neighborghood/

    http://parislux.wordpress.com/oh-paris-part-i-tocadero-and-the-latin-neighborghood/

    Or yesterday à post on burgundy

    Ps in Luxembourg you also have Laduree miam miam

    January 12, 2014
    • Luckily, I’m still in France for at least another 8 months…then who knows what happens next. But I’ll certainly look at your blog and find out what you are up to.

      January 12, 2014
      • So enjoy….

        January 12, 2014
  4. Macarons from Ladurée are very good. But you should also test those from Pierre Hermé…
    Nice blog by the way!

    January 23, 2014
    • Thank you. Yes, I really need to make it to Pierre Hermé. I’ve actually been a little disappointed in Ladurée lately. Thank you for reading.

      January 23, 2014

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