Although Laduree, the world-famous macaron purveyor, opened their first U.S. location in April, it took me until this week to walk to the mere mile from my home in Manhattan. The good news is that by the time I got there, the lines had died down because all of the true macaron lovers had already made their pilgrimage to the Parisian macaron mecca on Madison.
The Incroyable Almande’s shell is nearly the same color as the standard pistachio macaron, but it has a subtle almond essence instead. What really distinguishes the incroyable almande from the rest is its filling — it’s has a spongy, marshmallow texture and taste.
While I was excited to have the opportunity to sample the latest flavor, I liked the other macaron I bought much better. The pink Framboise was as delicious as it looks: a raspberry shell filled with raspberry jam. (Laduree sells jam and some other treats too, but it’s most macarons.) Ganache is actually the most classic filling, but I didn’t have any of those.
So yes, I managed to limit myself to two. That’s because visiting the beautiful Laduree store is part of the experience, and I wanted an excuse to return soon! There are 13 flavors, giving me plenty of reasons to go back. Being in the store transports you instantly to Paris from NYC, just like how the macarons are transported instantly from NYC to Paris. OK, maybe not instantly, as these delicate desserts face a seven-hour plane ride from France. Amazingly, new batches are flown in every other day or so. It’s a Francophile’s dream, but a locavore’s nightmare. But for a true taste of Paris, it’s very convenient (864 Madison Ave., at 71st street) and affordable ($2.70 per macaron). Unfortunately, it could also be addictive…