“Food is our common ground, a universal experience.” James Beard
In 1862, Louis Ernest Ladurée opened an exquisite bakery in Paris, aptly named Ladurée, that has become one of the top places to visit if you want the best in baked goods; especially their delicious macarons. According to the Ladurée website, their famous macarons was the brainchild of Pierre Desfontaines, second cousin of Louis Ernest Ladurée. At the turn of the 20th century, Pierre conceived the idea of taking two macaron shells and joining them with a delicious ganache filling. It became one of their most popular products and the Paris shop carries many flavors of these tasty gourmet macarons. Today, in shops around the world, Ladurée continues to whet the appetite of gourmet dessert lovers by offering an array of scrumptious desserts; especially their world famous macarons.
“When one has tasted it he knows what the angels eat.” Mark Twain
Until recently, the only way to taste a Ladurée macaron was to fly to Paris or visit one of their shops in Europe and enjoy their treats. I had mentioned Ladurée in a post I wrote last year about the luscious Macaron Parlor macarons… Who knew that almost a year later, they’d open a NYC shop. On August 30th, Ladurée opened their first NYC shop on at 864 Madison Avenue and almost caused a mob scene.
Hundreds of fans turned out to sample the 14 flavored macarons, flown in daily from Paris, and they were not disappointed. For several days in a row, the little shop sold out of many popular flavors; Vanilla, Cafe, Caramel, Pistachio… actually all of them. The lines were long and the orders flew out of the shop as people tried as many varieties as they could get. At $2.70 each, they are a well-priced treat and worth the wait…. reminding one of the Alexander McQueen lines during the exhibition’s final days at The Metropolitan Museum.
“Thus the public use of reason and freedom is nothing but a dessert, a sumptuous dessert.” Johann G. Hamann
Since those early heady days of the grand opening, Ladurée continues to attract dessert and gourmet treat lovers to their tiny, colorful and beautifully styled shop. It is worth a visit if you have never tasted fabulous macarons from their shop or from Pierre Hermé and Fauchon (Fauchon, by the way, make the best Madeleine). I paid them a visit yesterday and took pictures and sampled the macarons. The macarons are fresh tasting, melt-in-your-mouth heavenly bites. The ganache fillings are light, flavorful and have the real taste of vanilla, pistachio or any other flavor on their menu. The Vanilla and Cafe have always been my favorite but I added Pistachio and Caramel to my list yesterday, and honestly, all 14 flavors are delicious and chewy… Come back later for more on my visit and more pictures (UPDATED).
In addition to their macarons, Ladurée also sells tea, delectable spreads, jams, candles, carryall bags, and future plans to carry gelato/ice creams. I chose not to sample any of the additional items but the packaging looked elegant and I suspect the quality as divine as the macarons. Have you tried any of the extra items? What do you think of the packaging? More Below.