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Wednesday, June 16, 2010

The story of the Macaroon

I was recently very spoiled on my birthday with a lavish French patisserie party - great on the lips, even better for the hips. We had some lovely macaroons prepared by Mulots Patisserie, but let me tell you about Ladurée - a luxury cakes and patisserie salon based in Paris, France.

Ladurée's rise to fame came in 1930 when Pierre Desfontaines, grandson of then owner of Ladurée Jules Chéret, had the original idea of the double-decker macaroon (macaron en français), sticking two macaroon shells together with a creamy ganache as filling – fifteen thousand of which are sold every day. With each new season, Ladurée pays tribute to this its most famous creation by creating a new flavour, currently Cherry and Apple.

Ladurée Macaroons collection:
Flavours that are permanently available: Chocolate - Bitter Chocolate - Vanilla - Coffee - Rose - Pistachio - Raspberry - Blackcurrant Violet - Caramel with salted butter - Red Fruits - Orange Blossom - Liquorice - Lemon
Seasonal flavours: Coconut - Mint - Amande - Spice and soft fruits - Chestnuts - Praline - Lemon Cedrat - Fig & Date

Desfontaines also opened a tearoom at the pastry shop. In those days cafés which were the exclusive domain of men. The tearoom was a big success with ladies, who enjoyed meeting in the freedom of the tearoom rather than their homes.

The Groupe Holder took over Ladurée in 1993, which was then beset with financial difficulties. Following the takeover, the company began an expansion drive, setting up pastry shops on the Champs-Élysées in 1997, followed by subsidiaries in London, Geneva, Monaco. Ladurée shops have also been opened in Tokyo, Dublin, Bahrain, Milan and Dubai.

I fear Adelaide will have a long wait …

Images courtesy of Ladurée and research Wikipedia

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