Confession: On my recent trip to Europe, I developed an obsession with macarons. Even though my trip was re-routed to exclude Paris (more on this in another blog post), I was still able to indulge in one of the things I had wanted to experience in Paris: the culinary delights of Lauderee. To my utter joy I discovered the first Lauderee store I patronized while exploring the delights of Covent Garden. There it was, shining like a beacon in the middle of the bustle of handcrafted jewelry, art and London souveniers. That beautiful gold and green sign that whispered, no shouted: Come in and have a macaron. (Or eight).
How to describe a macaron if you have never had one? They are delightful little wafers made of almond flour (and thus paleo-ish) with lovely flavored fillings that absolutely melt in your mouth. I had done enough research on Laudree to know what flavors I should have on my must try list. The first box of six macarons, packed in a beautiful sea foam green and gold box, included orange blossom (two of those (still my favorite), rose petal, pistachio, fruit and spice,salted caramel, lemon and the Marie Antoinette.which is the lovely pale blue pictured in the left hand corner filled with a gorgeoues chocolate ganache. I took my time savoring them one at a time to make them last, but must confess to finding another store in Picadilly Circus when the first six were gone, taking with me my student Panache who was eager to try them. I purchased another eight…and made them last until we got to Normandy, at which time my stash had been consumed and I was going through macaron withdrawals. (When I picked up a few macrons from a bakery in San Malo, Panache gasped when he saw them on the bus. “Mrs. Murphy,” he said in mock horror. “I can’t believe you are cheating on Lauderee.”)
I did without the entire time we were in the Bath region of France, and the remainder of most of our time in London after the detour to Normandy- but managed to visit for another box while killing time in Covent Garden before a performance of Phantom, this time with my student Rhiddi in tow- who admitted, like Panache- that Laudree was by far the supreme maker of macarons. (She had sampled the sub standard ones in San Malo as well.) Why bother with a sit down restaurant when you can stroll through town looking at the sights and nibbling on Laudree?
My little green box from my first visit is ensconced in a place of honor in my office, a reminder of my trip and the promise of indulging, one day, at the original store in Paris. Vive le macaron!