Maison Ladurée, Paris

It is early in the morning and we are excited to step on the train heading south to Paris.  Only one hour away, we have never been so thankful and glad for high the speed train and modern technology. There are so many places that may draw one’s attention while visiting Paris. Should we climb the Eiffel Tower and soak in the breath taking view from the soaring hight? Should we explore the numerous museums, getting dreamy and letting our souls be touched by all the art history spread like sparkling jewels throughout the city? Or shall we simply take the road up-hill on Montmartre and walk in the food steps of Modigliani, Picasso, Degas and their modern day contemporaries? Paris has so much to offer, and while we are eager to take it all in, we are cautious of not missing the little things waiting for us around each corner.

This time our visit does not target the touristing sites. Well, maybe it does in a way, yet heading towards Galeries Lafayette, we are not thinking of tourism, we are only thinking of discovering something new, something beautiful that we have only heard about but haven’t seen before.

The gallery is famous. There are so many art-neuveau building in Paris, but this somehow is different. Designed as a shopping moll in the turn of the century, it has glamour and opulence like no other place in Paris. Walking inside, I am wondering if I have stepped into a fairy tale, movie set, enchanted castle or an opera hall. Yet, all within me is ready to be touched by its magic and we excitedly pass from one shopping display into another.

Until a moment when everything stops, and within the rushing crowd of people we remember why we are here at first place – the French macaroon and its masterful re-creation following a secret recipe handed from generation to generation since 1862. We are here to taste the sweet fragrant creations of Maison Ladurée.  One bite, and we could taste the difference – hard and crunchy shells carefully hiding soft and creamy almond paste inside. One bite, a taste and a flavour and the sweetness melts immediately away. Sounds simple, yet it takes a real mastery to recreate this fragile and delicate desert. Maison Ladurée, pays tribute to all sorts of remarkable people by adding each year a new fragrance inspired by them. This season’s favourite is a violet macaroon. And while wishing to taste them all, we have limited our choice only to a few: salted caramel, orange blossom, lemon, chocolate, rose petals and vanilla. We take a bite and we smile, savouring the moment, wishing to become as artful and experienced to be able to recreate these small delights at home one day.

{ For a home made French Macaroon recipe, click here.}

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