I’m not sure where I first read about macarons, but I tasted them for the first time when I visited Paris in 2005. I made a beeline for Ladurée. I got a box of 20 and fridged them upon arrival. They slowly died one by one.
For my October trip to Spain, I built a long layover in Paris on the way back because my mom had never seen Paris. A seven hour layover in Charles De Gaulle gave us approximately 2.5 hours of leisure. I planned to pick up macarons for a friend’s birthday from the Ladurée on Rue Royale after an obligatory shopping stop on Rue Saint-Honoré. It was a random Monday and the shop was packed to the brim. I did not have the patience or time to wait in line so I decided to go to the airport location. A painful Blackberry search showed that there is a shop in CDG Terminal 2F. Too bad I was leaving from 2E. Unlike some U.S. airports, the CDG terminals aren’t connected beyond security and they only allow access to the terminal you’re ticketed for. Imagine my surprise when I saw this cart sitting right outside of the Terminal 2E security gate! Mission accomplished. Unfortunately, they did not have the Christian Louboutin boxes…
I took some more pictures while I was waiting to board. I love good lighting!
Colorful macarons always photograph well despite a few crumbles here and there. I personally prefer cream or caramel filling over jam or jelly. They are too sweet. As much as I like macarons, I am not in love with them or with Ladurée… I am, however, in love with ice cream filled macarons. I stumbled upon a small shop near the Eiffel Tower a few summers ago. I believe Dalloyau also carries them in Paris.
It’s hard not to mention Tokyo when talking about macarons. If you ever visit Tokyo, you’ll see perfect, beautiful individual-packaged macarons everywhere from Starbucks to Sadaharu Aoki and Dalloyau. Every major French macaron player has a shop there; you can find more innovative flavors outside of Ladurée.
In early September, my friends and I went to Switzerland for a very long weekend. We flew in and out of Zurich. Brief research pointed me to the Sprüngli Luxemburgerli. They have outlets in the airport, major train stations in Switzerland, and in Zurich. If you ever have a layover in Zurich, you have to pick up some! I picked up my Luxemburgerli during my last hour food shopping blitz from the ground level shop in the Zurich Bahnhofplatz because I read that the airport shops usually have a condensed selection. (And, the fresh Sprüngli truffles are to die for!)
This cappuccino Luxemburgerli looks like a mini-hamburger.
The gold-dusted one in the center is champagne-flavored! You can get them without alcohol. This was my favorite. (Flavors starting with the pink filling left of the center, clockwise: cherry blossom, vanilla, raspberry, salted caramel, and cappuccino. The green in the earlier picture is pistachio.)
I love Ladurée’s beautiful boxes and always keep them immaculate for future use. Sprüngli’s boxes are reminiscent of Chinese take-out and aren’t much to look at, but it’s the inside that counts. Luxemburgerli are similar to macarons in that they are meringue-based, but they are smaller and airier. And in my opinion, they are much cuter than the macs since they resemble tiny hamburgers. I like splitting them in half lengthwise and often share one half so I can sample more flavors. My roommate and I had fun finishing these off (and I did gift at least half of these to some worthy foodie friends) within the recommended shelf life of 3-5 days. Too bad these babies are not easily accessible stateside.