Thursday, June 11, 2009

Lady Macaron

French macaroons at a local boulangerie at Rue de Sevres near Le Bon Marché in the 7eme arr.

Did you know that french Macaroons are slowly making it's mark outside of France? and I have a
feeling it will have similar-like effect of the cupcake phenomena when it first entered the New York scene and burst like waterfalls to every bakery and cake shops around the world. Little did anyone know outside of Paris, what is a french macaroon. Most of you reading this would probably already know what is the true french macaroons and how it actually look like (the image above is a giver) however for a minuscule of you who come across this article by sheer accident, here is a petit l'introduction to the differences of the macaroons you grew up eating - to the french version that for many le boulanger and I will tell you that this little gem is the true flag of France.

Like everyone else, I grew up with this version:
a cracky surface with a chewy texture made from egg whites, sugar and ground almonds. When I was growing up in Jakarta, I blurry remember eating them for the first time as a gift from someone who just came back overseas. I loved it instantly, from the sweet perfumy aroma from the almonds to the way it blends perfectly over a cup of hot milk. This version is called amaretti, originally from Italy and thought to have been made by the Italian monastery way before the 16th century.

The french famously created by no other than Pierre Desfontaines Ladurée in the beginning of the 20th century. Today, Ladurée sells up to 16,000 macaroons each day from their three green painted salons, my favourite one is at Rue Bonaparte and my heart smiles each time I passed it on my way home. With more than 20 flavors and a new one added each month to last only for a couple of weeks until sold out, Ladurée is the true maker of french macaroons.

When I was in Paris, I had the fortunate chance to try many macaroons from different establishments, from the ones at Four Season where the serveuse secretly admitted that they were inferior to Ladurée's. And the different versions at countless local boulangeries in different arrondissements. Each one is beautifully tasty, I remember the rosé flavored macaroon from Jules Verne up above La Tour Eiffel that was uniquely rare in taste and aroma.

Of course no trip to Paris is ever fully complete without a visit to one of Ladurée salons. It is an experience even just to wait patiently at the long queues of tourists and french people alike waiting for their turn to be serve, and then goes the next daunting task of choosing which flavors you're after. Try the classic ones first if you're confuse, I always go for caramel with a salty after-taste from the au beurre salé, then for your next visits roll out your tonque with framboise, citron and fleur d’Oranger.

I have not seen any french macaroon here in Melbourne since I arrived. However if any of you have spotted these delicious diamonds around town, always leave a comment! Thank you


lady jicky said...

Browns the bakery has them !

EMMELYN said...

Great! thank you Mel! take my parents there next week, lovely to see you here again