Macarons de chez Ladurée

31 Jul

Surprising post from someone who has been living in Vietnam for more than 4 months. A few weeks ago, one friend came to visit me in Vietnam (that’s the one with whom I’ve been to Hanoi and Siem Reap, the posts about that are starting this week), and she brought me some Ladurée macaroons! Crazy, right?
 
I also got some foie gras from the duty free shop. What’s the most unbelievable about the macaroons is that she bought them in Paris (instead of buying them at the Ladurée shop in the airport) because she saw the shop was too far away from her check-in gate! So the macaroons travelled in her luggage and had at least 2 days when I got them, but I don’t care, they were still good!

I got a lot of them. I usually give her the caramel, pistache (pistachio) or réglisse (liquorice) tastes that I don’t like, so I did not ate everything you see here. My friend did not really remember everything she took (luckily she had the Ladurée’s leaflet and my personal Ladurée’s knowledge to recognize them), and there has been a misunderstanding about the Citron-vert basilic taste (Lime and basil), which I thought was pistachio (thus I left her the two, she ate them and told me it was not pistachio).

My favourite ones are Cassis-violette (blackcurrant and violet) and Rose, but my friend know I basically like all the red/pink ones (raspberry or red fruits are also good). I prefer macaroons when the filling is a bit acid (I know rose is not acid, but the light texture and the rose taste of the filling is always making me dream).

Anyway, here is my review of the interesting new (and not new) macaroons I ate!

This is a new taste, I thought it was seasonal but apparently they may sell it for a while, it is part of a collection made for the 150th birthday of Ladurée. They translated that as “Incroyable Strawberry and “guimauve””, not really a good translation, because “fraise bonbon” means it is inspired by the famous candy Fraise Tagada. Guimauve means marshmallow, although the French guimauve is more an exceptional product made by only a few bakers (with an old machine created I think by Alex Doumak at the beginning of the 20th century) and marshmallows in Anglo-Saxon countries tend to be packed and chemical candies. In France, Haribo called the industrial marshmallows: chamallows.

By the way, for those interested in visiting the South of France, Haribo has a factory there which I visited once and where you can buy packs of 1 kilo of their candies, I brought back 1 kilo of smurfs (Schtroumpfs) and 1 kilo of Dragibus (didn’t find the proper translation because I don’t think it is sold in English-speaking countries) and I never finished them, but it’s a fun experience!

Anyway, I thought that this macaroon can quickly become sickening and the filling was a bit too elastic (probably because of the candy). They put some rock sugar on top to remind of the candy. I would have put fresh strawberries with the filling even though I know they never put any fresh fruit inside the macaroons!

 

Here is a taste that was not in my leaflet. At first I thought it was my dear Cassis Violette, but when I saw that the filling was white, I knew it was not. However, Casis-Violette was the only one in my leaflet having a purple colour. So I ate it and analised it to discover the mystery taste. The filling was elastic too, so I guessed that because it was elastic and because I had never seen this macaroon, it was a new taste in the Guimauve range.
So I opted for a name like “L’incroyable guimauve cassis” (“Incroyable blackcurrant and “guimauve””). I then discovered on Ladurée’s website that it is “L’incroyable guimauve violette” (“Incroyable violet and “guimauve””).
It is slightly better than the strawberry one, but it’s not replacing the Cassis-Violette in my heart.

 

I then had two Rose. Still as perfect as it can be. What I also like it that there is a lot of filling. If you crunch gently into it, some of the filling will go out of the shells. That it the most delightful part.

 

I also tasted a new seasonal taste: Pamplemousse-Vanille (Grapefruit vanilla). I was not expecting much because I ususally do not like the mix between sweet stuffs like chocolate/caramel/vanilla… and fruits. But it was a nice surprise! The taste of vanilla was light, and thus the two tastes were well balanced.

 

This macaroon, Chocolat pure origine du Ghana (Chocolate pure origin from Ghana) was one of my favourite seasonal tastes! The chocolate was really tasty, not too dark, not too milky, the mix between the lightly chocolate shell and the melty chocolate inside was perfect! It made me think of a chocolate cake rather than a macaroon and that’s what was good.

 

Once again a seasonal taste. Fleur de cerisier (or cherry blossom in English) was a good idea although I would have liked to have a more fluffy filling like the one for Rose. The filling had actually a texture like frangipane (the almond filling you put inside the French King’s Pie> galette des rois). The shells were well done, soft and friable and the taste was good.

NB: I just saw that Ladurée, on their leaflet, put the names in Japanese, but instead of translating, they just used the Katakana (characters used for writing foreign words) to write the French words. For example, for Fleur de Cerisier, they litterally wrote: Furuuru Surijie (which is supposed to be pronounced as “Fleur Cerisier”) instead of Sakura no hana (the Japanese translation for cherry blossom). I think that most Japanese can read roman alphabet but cannot guess what Furuuru Surijie means in French, it would have been more useful to write Sakura no Hana in roman alphabet than writing “Fleur Cerisier” in Japanese characters! Furthermore it takes only three characters to write Sakura no Hana instead of 8 for “Fleur Cerisier”, and Sakura is such a thing in Japan, that you’d better want your Japanese clients to understand what it is!

 

The classic Framboise (Rasberry), was this time a bit disappointing, I thought that there weren’t much filling inside, that it was too gelified (too elastic) not really tasty and not acid enough.

 

Another seasonal taste, Muguet (Lily of the Valley), which had a strange taste but was good.

 

Last but not least, the famous Citron-vert basilic (Lime basil) that I could not taste but which seemed tasty, good and sufficiently stuffed.
 

I would have liked to try others seasonal tastes like the Praliné (Praline), Orange Sanguine Gingembre (Blood orange Ginger), Fraise Coquelicot (Strawberry Poppy), Pomme Verte (Green Apple) and Marron (Chestnut). In less than two months now, I’ll be able to eat some fresh macaroons! In the meantime, I can still go to the macaroons’ shop “Ladorée” in Saigon!

Here is Ladurée’s website: http://www.laduree.fr/fr/fabricant/produits/macarons

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