I've always been vaguely confused about the French macaron (macaroon?). I'd seen them in gourmet food catalogs but had never tried one. So when I found myself staring at a package delivered to a colleague the other day I was intrigued. They were very pretty and delicate looking. I had always assumed that the French macaron had something to do with the coconut macaroons I was more familiar with. Au contraire!
The French macaron is essentially two almond meringue discs with a ganache filling. Like a very chic whoopie pie, but then again, not really. The macaron has been around since the 1500's and the details on its origins vary. One thing is for sure: The French take their macaron's very seriously and there is at least one museum dedicated to this fancy little cookie.
The Grande Dame of the macaron is 150 year old French pastry shop Ladurée. They sell 15,000 macaron's A DAY. Lucky for me, they JUST opened their first North American shop on Manhattan's Upper East Side. I waited in line for 30 minutes to purchase my adorable box of eight tiny little biscuits. Cost: $27. Oh well, you only live once.
Verdict: Délicieux, mais bien sur! My disclaimer is that I've never had one before and what's not to like?