By Lisa Maliga, copyright 2015
I’d never tried a macaron until three years ago, just after I wrote the first draft of my novella, Sweet Dreams. As the cliché goes, it was love at first bite. As I’m working on part 4 of the Yolanda’s Yummery Series, Macarons of Love, I needed to reacquaint myself with the sweet delicacies. I looked forward to tasting the fragile, crispy and chewy cookies.
When one of my friends said he was going to Miami, I sent him some money along with the address of the Laduree shop in Miami Beach. I’d read about it online, learning it was only the third location in America to boast such a prestigious shop. New York City is blessed with two of these stores, but 1000 miles away, a tiny Laduree shop also sells these delectable sweets. I studied the menu and decided to get the 8-pack, enabling me to try a variety of the imported French cookies.
From the seafoam green bag to the adorable cat and butterfly box, the presentation was perfect.
Here are my opinions on the flavors I tasted.
Lemon [Citron]. Of course, the bright yellow is the visual clue that this is a lemon macaron. It had that sweet and tangy lemony aroma and taste. A must-have if you love anything citrusy, especially anything as bright as Laduree’s lemon.
I have tried Vanilla [Vanille] macarons in the past when I bought a box of Trader Joe’s brand Trader Jacque’s a la Parissiene. This box contains 6 chocolate and 6 vanilla. Naturally, I liked them. I especially liked the fact that they cost about five bucks for a dozen – a lot less than Laduree. However, I prefer the richness of the vanilla bean-laden macaron from Laduree. It seemed fuller and richer in flavor.
Orange Blossom [Fleur d’Oranger] is succulent orange with a hint of floral. Not a brightly colored orange, it resembled the vanilla macaron. Very lovely and I could eat eight of them — just not at one time!
Salted Caramel [Caramel a la Fleur de Sel]. Smuckers makes a caramel topping that’s supposed to go on ice cream. Sometimes it goes onto a spoon and right into my mouth–bypassing the ice cream. This macaron had that sweetly scrumptious filling [third from bottom on the left in the photo]. It was hard not to consume it in just one big bite.
The Lemon Verbena [Verveine Citron] was exquisite. The green undertone separated it from its sister lemon macaron. Highly recommended.
Rose Petal [Petale de Rose]. I had a sneaking suspicion that it would taste sugary and rosy and I was right. It was like eating something perfumed rather than flavored. There weren’t any rose petal bits on top. I’ve bathed in a rose Lush Tisty Tosty bath bomb and this was like eating it, minus the fizz. Honestly, I prefer to wear the scent of the rose petal; not consume it.
Raspberry [Framboise] a bit of the filling had seeped from between the shells. When I bit into it, the entire shell spread open and cracked into different sized pieces. Perhaps some moisture had gotten in the shells? Also, the jam innards were much heavier than the shell. The taste was a 10 out of 10.
Chocolate [Chocolat]. This macaron is dark chocolate with a lovely ganache filling. This lightweight macaron is fluffy but not overly so, filled with a generous amount of the finest ganache. It’s not a milk chocolate but a semi sweet chocolate. I’d peg it at the classic 70% cacao content. It’s like a truffle inside of a macaron. Is it worth $2.80 for a few bites? YES!
I can describe the macarons as succulent, delectable, luxurious, decadent and use even more exclamatory adjectives, but I won’t, because I think you get that I love macarons and enjoy sharing my feelings about them. If you’re a fan of sweets, I suggest that you try them. I’d recommend eating them at room temperature. They’ll last about 3 days unrefrigerated. Refrigeration can mask the taste. However, I’ve never had macarons around long enough to chill in the fridge!