Are Ladurée Macarons the Best of French Macarons:
Ladurée is a patisserie that is famous the world over for its macarons. For a long time, we never did understand the craze for these colourful French macarons. On previous visits to Paris, when we’ve seen queues of people lining up to get into the Ladurée cafes, especially in winter, we did wonder how these macarons manage to achieve this larger than life status – are they really that good or is this just a passing tourist fad? We’ve had macarons before, but not Ladurée macarons, and thought they were like biscuits.
The Ladurée pastry house have been making macarons since the mid-20th century. When you visit their restaurants and shops, you’ll see a large variety of macaron colours and flavours but it seems that each season they continue to introduce a new a new flavour with a colour to match, all of which are intended to seduce the customer. And, when you see the queues of tourists lining up to buy these macarons, it’s apparent that this seduction has been very effective. Whenever we’ve walked past a Ladurée café or shop, there’s always people scrambling to buy macarons – there are Maisons Ladurée all over the world now.
Checking out the Macaron Mania
On a stroll along the Champs-Elysées last week, we came across Ladurée Champs-Elysées and I decided that it was about time that we found out for ourselves what these world-famous macarons are all about. We looked at the menu on the window-front of the restaurant and thought that the €6.00 price for a small macaron was a bit expensive, but we were committed to finding out what was so good about these little desserts, well at least I was. There was a queue of people waiting to get in and as we were assured that we wouldn’t have to wait too long, we stayed on. While waiting for our table, we witnessed macaron-mania taking place in the Ladurée shop. People were buying macarons like they were the latest and trendiest sweet to buy.
When we got to our table, I ordered a pistachio macaron and Tony ordered a chocolate one to have with our coffees. The waiter misunderstood Tony’s order and brought a pain au chocolat for Tony and he deposited a plate of four pistachio macarons for me. We called the waiter to correct Tony’s order and I also reminded him that I only wanted one macaron, as I really didn’t want €24 worth of macaron. The very friendly waiter explained that they didn’t have the larger pistachio macaron and therefore he gave me four small ones. When Tony’s chocolate macaron arrived, we saw what the €6 macaron looked like. If Tony had any reservations about Ladurée being a tourist trap, he was soon won over by the chocolate macaron. It was beautifully made and had a thick layer of chocolate inside. My pistachio macaron was divine and although four little macarons was too much, I actually ate three as it was too good to waste.
We are both now converted Ladurée macaron fans and I was tempted to join in the macaron rush with the other customers, but the shop attendant did advise that they are best eaten within four days. At least we still have time in Paris to fill up with a few more of these delightful and seductive desserts.
Fortunately, these days there are a few more Ladurée shops and cafes in Paris which means that it is easier to get hold of their macarons. In Paris there are Maisons Ladurée at:
- Ladurée Champs-Elysées at no. 75 Champs-Elysées
- 21 rue Bonaparte – in Saint-Germain-des-Prés
- 64 Boulevard Haussman – in the Printemps store
- 16 rue Royale – in front of the Madeleine
- CDG Airport – T2
If like us you weren’t previously convinced about macarons, you won’t regret trying the Ladurée macarons. See more photos of Ladurée Champs-Elysées
Macaron and Chocolate Tour
You can watch Parisian chefs in action as they make chocolate and the perfect macaron at a Behind-the-Scenes Tour with a Paris Pastry Chef. And throughout the tour you’ll also get to enjoy tasting several flavors of macarons and several luxurious chocolates.