Last June, I went on a mini-birthday trip to Paris. It was my first time in Paris, but I have been to different parts of France on prior occasion. Not that I never had the chance to go, but I always wanted my first time in Paris to be with the person who will love me forever. Well, I will definitely love myself forever, I’m stuck with it! Hahaha Though I only had 3 days to visit the romantic streets of Paris, I had one goal in mind… and that was to attempt a Macaron Marathon and proclaim the best of them all.
Whenever you say Paris, and think about a very french delicacy, the eponymous macaron comes to mind. And more often than not, Laduree is the first name associated with the delicate almond meringue wafers sandwiching a smooth and sweet filing.
Laduree is famed most probably because of the avocado-green storefront in Champs Elysee, with its tantalizing window displays that take the little macarons to a whole new level. With pastel colors inhabiting the window dressing, it’s too sweet to not pass up a peek inside.
Laduree has been in business since the 1800s, originally a boulangerie (bakery) converted into a cake shop to align the business to the booming growth of salons and cafes in Paris. Laduree was really known more for its interiors and the fine wall paintings which mimicked the Sistine Chapels frescos. Plus, during a time of suffrage, Laduree was revolutionary because they allowed women to mingle and have their cups of tea, something quite controversial during the “oldschool” times. It was capitalized by the Holder Group who purchased the brand yet kept its classic French patisserie ambiance.
Beautiful mint green box
I’m not going to lie, I love good packaging, and it didn’t help my self-control to see the beautiful mint green box with silver embossed print and logo. My brother also requested a couple of boxes while I had to shop for pasalubong (travel gifts), so this was the perfect size and sweetness.
Each box has instructions on how to best enjoy Laduree macarons, and when the delicate cookies were made. I picked an assortment of Rose, Pistachio, Salted Caramel, Raspberry, Earl Grey and Chocolate. The presentation was enough to feed your eyes, but this needs to be enjoyed by all senses.
I used the Rose macaron as my benchmark for my Macaron Marathon. First off, Laduree’s almon wafer is very delicate, and almost crumbly if held with a little less restraint. The filling had a creamy texture which I wished was a bit thicker like an Oreo. It is sweet in a way that would allow you to savor each macaron to two or three nibbles. Honestly, I wasn’t too blown away with my Rose Macaron, probably because I waited to fly to Manila before I tried it for my Macaron Marathon. I did, however, enjoy some afternoon high tea at the Laduree Bonaparte in the Saint Germain area. Across the Siene River, this branch of Laduree is less touristy and more relaxed. The decor is plush with crushed velvet and tapestries, with vintage sepia photos mounted on the walls to bring a nostalgic pre-war era appeal.
Although I don’t have much to say about Laduree’s macarons, I have much to mush about their patisserie selection of heavenly pastries and cakes. Laduree’s most famous offering is their Saint Honore, but I decided to go one notch up in keeping with my love affair with rose as a culinary flavor. The Saint Honore Rose-Framboise has puff pastry, cream puff pastry, light rose petals custard cream, raspberry stew, rose-flavored Chantilly whipped cream, rose syrup fondant and raspberries.
It was beautiful to look at, and even more exquisite to taste. It was light, decadent airy and rich all at the same time. The combination of light rose flavor and the raspberries’ tarty sweetness was a harmonious juxtaposition and perfect execution of French pastry skills. The little cream puffs were a delight to pop in my mouth, and I wish I could say that I didn’t lick the Chantilly cream off my fort. this was DIVINE! I would take this over any macaron offering Laduree has.
My favorite Laduree is the Bonaparte Store
This Macaron Marathon continues with Fauchon…