Are you in love with macarons, like I am? Please note, they are not what we call "macaroons" in the US, but instead a delicate cookie pastry with a cream filling which is known for its intense and sometimes interesting flavors. Paris is known for the best macarons in the world, and that is where I first grew to love them.
The most famous seller of macarons can be found at the world renowned Ladurée in Paris, (love their website) and now located in a few other cities around the world, as well. They sell 15,000 macarons a day in Paris alone. A trip to Paris for me is not complete without some lemon and chocolate macarons--some I eat on the spot and others I bring back home. The range of flavors and colors tease you on each visit, but I stick to my tried and true flavors of choice.
Luckily for me, living in London part time, there are now two locations here--one on Piccadilly Street and one in Harrod's ("No pictures, madam!") Here you see a photo of the Ladurée window in Paris.
Running a close second behind Ladurée is Pierre Hermé in Paris, whose Left Bank shop often has customers lined up outside the door. Big news for London is the recent opening of Pierre Hermé in the Selfridges department store in London as seen here.
When I was in London this past visit, it was one of the first places I had to check out to see how it compared to the original patisserie in Paris. I was not disappointed--the selection of flavors was so tempting. Choices included passion fruit with chocolate, quince with rose, salted caramel, pistachio, dark chocolate with black currant, and my selection for the day- strawberry with balsamic vinegar. Delicious! Pierre Hermé is known to be very creative with flavors and features several new flavors each season--just as the designers change their collections for the season.
Today, March 20 is the Jour du Macaron day in Paris--Macaron Day! At Pierre Hermé and a few other patisseries in Paris and around the world, customers will line up for a selection of 3 free macarons. In return, it is customary to give a donation at the door to a selected charity. Pierre Hermé created the idea 5 years ago, and it has been a huge success each year. Let's see, 3 free for me, get back in line for 3 more, and then get back in line for....
Houston, are you listening? Macarons are all the rage--who's going to step up and fill the orders here?