Macarons: Classic Beauty at Ladurée (Paris)

// Visited: 12.09  //


Ladurée invented the modern macaron.  So, naturally, I expected it to provide me with the most delicious macaron experience of my life—a transformative macaron experience, if you will.

Did Ladurée change my life?  Its macarons were certainly lovely and beautifully packaged, but they were by no means the best I’ve ever had.  Off the top of my head, I can think of three other macaron shops in California that beat out Ladurée in terms of taste and texture: Jin Patisserie (in Venice), Patisserie Chantilly (in Lomita), and ‘lette (in Beverly Hills, on its good days).

And yet, in spite of my criticism, I don’t think Ladurée has much to worry about in terms of competitors.  Ladurée understands that it has the market cornered on luxurious presentation.  The company currently has 40 (!) shops around the world—12 in France alone.  One just opened up in New York in 2011.  It now has a line of beauty products.  Clearly, this is no mom & pop artisanal bakery: this is a money-making luxury baked goods empire.

Besides its pretty presentation, another one of Ladurée’s strengths is its consistent quality.  Ladurée’s meringue wafers were consistently perfect in texture—chewy on the inside, balanced with a delicate crispy crust.

So what’s my beef with Ladurée?  The flavor and texture of the fillings seemed to be neglected in favor of all the formalities and the pretty packaging.  Some fillings were thin and greasy—tasting of whipped cream and not much else.  Others seemed heavy and clunky, tasting of no more than fruit preserves.

Ladurée appears to be resting on its meringue wafer-sized laurels and neglecting its fillings, but I’m sure this global brand will continue to do just fine.


Ladurée in the Champs Elysées


Ready for the holidays

It’s always hectic inside Ladurée


Luxury macarons

Ladurée Champs Elysées
75, avenue des Champs Elysées
75008 Paris
Tel : +33 (0)1 40 75 08 75

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