I saw this on Twitter early this morning. It seems that everyday is becoming some sort of a holiday!
But to you, dear macaron, I shall never say no.
My wave of consciousness to macarons began quite late in my life. While growing up, the mention of macarons would remind me of dessicated coconut… I know, I know. There is a world of difference between macarOn and macarOON! But hey, that was my exposure as a child. My aunt baked macaroons when she came to visit us. I remember those coco goodies wrapped in those Christmas themed waxed paper cups. I did not know what macarons were and what they looked like.
But on a trip to Paris many years later, I had to take my first bite to those heavenly, crunchy, airy, candy pastel colored pastries! You have to understand I was on a tight student budget then. And I had to somewhat stick to the familiar. So where did I go?
To my credit, it was on Champs Elysee… *sticking to the familiar*
With a tall cafe latte and a pain au chocolat on the side, I bit into my very first Pistachio macaron. And it was good as advertised. Yes even in McCafe. Airy, crunchy, candy pastel colored sweetie goodness…
This was our last stop before we left Paris. It is a pitstop memory for keeps 🙂
Through the years, I was very wary of replacing this macaron memory for another. I had been very careful of trying local versions. I did not want to ruin my first macaron experience. But after a mental toss-up, I convinced myself to try others. I remembered loving Aubergine’s version of macarons. For a long time, I thought it was the best you can get locally.
I know the Rolls Royce of macarons, Laduree, had opened in the Philippines in late 2014. Several times, I passed by their quaint stall in Rockwell in Makati. But for the life of me, I just could not spend P150 (USD3.21) for a teeny tiny sphere of macaron.
But like cyclones, women are wired to change their minds as often as the wind blew. So, in a recent trip to New York, we were walking the streets of SoHo. And we accidentally unearthed a gem of a bistro. Believe me when I say, this was probably the prettiest al fresco dining space I have ever seen. We saw a small gate opening to its backdoor. It was like the Secret Garden come to life!
To my surprise, as we walked to the front of the lot, it was a Laduree cafe!! We just finished eating dessert at a nearby, equally popular patisserie. But no, we just had to sit and bask and soak in the beauty that surrounds this space. And so we sat… And we ordered macarons. No questions asked.
We sat at our dainty table, and sipped our tea. The leaves fell on our head. The breeze gave out a light chill. Poems have been written to describe an afternoon like that. And the rhymes were as sweet as the macarons that lay on our plate. What an unforgettable macaron day..
Fast forward, I am back in Manila. I sit in my desk, with piles of documents to scour through. I scan recent memory to find a local macaron that will help me celebrate #nationalmacaronday. The search was not futile. Because thanks to the Diamond Hotel and The Cake Club by the Diamond Hotel, this chocolate macaron is cause for a celebration.
I have to say, this is very much different from a Laduree macaron. It is crunchy on the outside, dark chocolatey gooey on the inside. I can say it is a lovechild of a brownie and a macaron. And it has nothing to be ashamed of, because it is still a chocolate dream come true! At P60 per piece, there will be no regrets, except if you deprive yourselves of seconds. Or thirds!