Maison Laduree just arrived stateside a few months ago and already they have garnered a serious cult following. I heard stories of their greatness even before they opened their doors on Madison Avenue but was hesitant to schlep all the way up there to then stand in line for just a few little macarons. Shipped in weekly from France, these are not your average macaron. A sweet confectionary treat made from just egg whites, sugar, ground almond and food coloring, Maison Laduree is known as the best and by far the most famous maker of these French favorites.
So instead of heading uptown, I had my first Laduree macaron in….London! While walking through Covent Garden I passed by one of their stores, saw that there was no line, and promptly bumrushed the door. Within seconds I had one in my hand and headed outside to enjoy my treat. But why did I get only one? Well, I had only three pounds on me (one macaron cost 1.80 GBP, $2,70 USD) and had just eaten a giant lunch so I only allowed myself one (which in the end was a mistake!).
Maison Laduree has many flavors available (caramel with salted butter, raspberry, pistachio, chocolate, lemon, vanilla, orange blossom, licorice, rose, coffee, and coconut) but I went for the black currant & violet as I have a weakness for anything black currant. I pranced out of the store like I had just won the culinary lottery and found myself a quiet little corner near Covent Garden to enjoy my little treat. With my first bite I was in love… it has just the right amount of jam-like filling and just the right amount of sweet and tart. They are super light with a flaky outside and have a slight chewiness to them. They may look small but they pack a TON of flavor and are quite filling. It looks like I’m just gonna have to suck it up, head uptown, and jump in line like everyone else to get my macaron fix!! Hopefully now that the grand opening has came and went (with plans for more stores to open in NYC), the lines have died down!
864 Madison Avenue (between 70th and 71st Street)