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Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Macaron Mania

I’m writing this blog on a train crossing the Chunnel from Paris into London.

Yesterday was our last full day in Paris – we spent it wandering around the little streets and shops in the Left Bank and Latin Quarter areas surrounding our hotel. It might have been my favorite experience in Paris although it wasn’t without a couple of hitches here and there.

A while back I had sampled a few macarons from a Beverly Hills based macaron maker. My life was kind of changed and I would by lying if I said that part of my reason for wanting to visit Paris in the first place wasn’t about a macaron.

So, I had done my research and came across a blog all about macarons. Amazing. They reviewed every store from the big ones right down to the little ones and in the top spot was one of the biggest names in Parisian macarons, Lauduree. There just happened to be one in our area, so I planned ahead and knew I’d be buying a boatload of those precious little cookie-cake-jam-gooey-happiness things.

We get there and it’s very French. As in, everyone is speaking French. Apparently (and this is new to me) I don’t speak French. Ok, I knew that going in, but I was pretty sure I’d be fluent in French by day three in Paris – enough to order my macarons with no issues.

The little dude who helped me out spoke a bit of English, so that was cool but every time I’d say one, he’d say two. And every time I said two, he grabbed one. And when I said three, he’d pick two. And when I said five he’d grab three. So. I should have known that maybe there would be an issue here.

Meanwhile, the whole store (which is the size of my kitchen – very small) sounds like a henhouse. A French henhouse. People are coming up to the register and ringing things up, people are bustling around and I’m scared.

So the dude at the counter rings up my order. In French. I have no idea what he’s saying. I want my macarons. Let me sign the damn paper and let’s get out of here. The bill was steep. About $150 steep. Something seemed wrong, but I was already out of the store and macarons are expensive and I bought a couple gift sets. I felt a bit like crying, this was more than I had thought but whatever. I wanted my macarons.

We get back to the hotel and I look over the receipt and realize there’s a 2x in front of the most expensive gift set I picked up. I start to panic. I DON’T SPEAK FRENCH AND I WANT MY MONEY BACK!!!

Mike suggests we go downstairs to see if the front desk can help us. They do. They call up the store and explain to the Lauduree folk (in French) what happened. We hightail it back to the store and get our refund, problem solved. Phew.

We shop around a bit more and pick up some specialty Parisian honey. Incredible. I guess French bees are kind of a big deal. I had no idea.

We get back to the hotel and I check the condition of my macarons – a few have cracked. I’m worried about their ability to survive the rest of the trip. I look over the silly little French pamphlets and read the lines that will forever haunt me:

Macarons should be consumed within 3 days of purchase.

Damnit. I bought them as gifts.

I’m thinking this is just some fancy thing that they talk about “best by date” which really isn’t something we should take seriously. Right? I’ll keep them chilled and they’ll be fine, right? Right?


Hopefully they’ll survive. If not, I hope you understand.


  1. I've never had one or seen this word in writing before and am slightly perturbed that it's spelled with only one o.

    Oh, also...If they don't make it, eat them before they take a turn for the worst. At least someone should enjoy them!

  2. Yah, a macaron is the French spelling. I think we have a different type of coconut cookie that is a macaroon... they are amazing. If they survive the trip, you have to have one.

  3. Oh, I always hear about coconut macaroons, and assumed that's what they are. I don't like coconut, mostly because it sets my mouth afire.


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