One word: Macaron (the first bite is with your eyes)

What do Blair Waldorf and Marie Antoinette have in common?

A guiltless love affair with macs. I’m referring to the luxurious, tantalizing, softly hued tiny almond meringue cakes in an assortment of flavors (such as vanilla, raspberry, strawberry, mint, salted caramel, pistachio, coffee, chocolate, almond, caramel, rose, basil, etc.) filled with ganache or buttercream.

Not to be mistaken with the coconut pastry called macaroon, the Paris macaron, spelled with a single o, also called the Gerbet in yesteryears, traces its roots in Italy and reportedly arrived in France with Catherine de Medicis, in 1533, to marry the Duc d’Orleans, who later became King Henry II

image by roboppy

Credit goes to the Ladurée family for popularizing the macarons. In 1862, Louis Ernest Ladurée, a miller and an outspoken social reformist, put up the Ladurée bakery on the elegant 16 rue Royale in Paris. Following a fire during the Paris Commune uprising in 1871, the bakery was transformed into a pastry shop. At the beginning of the 20th century, Louis Ernest’s second cousin, Pierre Desfontaines, put color and joined two macaron shells with a delicious ganache center. He also created the idea of putting a tea salon at the pastry shop to cater to women, who at that time were not a welcome sight in cafés.

Source: via vanessa marie on Pinterest

Ladurée (pronounced lah-dew-ray), who has set the trend for upscale tea salons, reached new heights via Sofia Coppola’s film Marie Antoinette, in which eye-catching pastries were provided by Maison Ladurée. In 1993, the Groupe Holder took over Ladurée and expanded to a few other locations in Paris. By 2005, Ladurée has expanded beyond France. First to London, then to Monaco, Switzerland, Japan, Italy, Lebanon, Turkey, UAE, Saudi Arabia, Luxembourg, Kuwait, Ireland, Brazil and Dubai.

And the fashionable Madison Avenue.  People line up for the $2.70 per piece macarons. Watch a scene on Gossip Girl…

An eyeful…

day 394
image by shell belle

Macarons at LaudereeLauderee

images by elle525235

A girl thing, Alexa dreams of Paris all the time. As Cynthia Rowley and Ilene Rosenzweig wrote in Chapter 9 (Indulge) of Swell A Girl’s Guide to the Good Life, “The best things in life are expensive.” Yeah, at least some like macarons:)

wearing her dream:)

The other big names in the macaron business:

There’s Pierre Hermé, a celebrated French pastry chef, who has a loyal following raving about his macarons.

Pierre Hermé Macarons

image by Akane86

And famous purveyor of macarons,  Gérard Mulot, said to be among the best things about Paris.

Gerard Mulotmore macaronsmacarons

images by roboppy

Macarons in the Philippines

Huge thanks to Bizu Patisserie for introducing macarons in the Philippines. (Read my story here.) Vanilla and pistachio bring me to heaven.

SWEET TREATS... one for each

In my own hometown, Laoag, I was surprised to see strawberry-flavored macarons at RedDot’s Polka Dot launch.

I Heart Macarons

The meticulous baker is too shy to be identified at this stage. She says, she wants to make the real thing. Hope perfection sees the light of day. Hello, Miss J!

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An Affair To Remember…

Ultimate food porn…

It suddenly flashed in my mind that these photos have been stored in my hard drive for a year now. They are from the very first shots I took with the Nikon D90 I am currently using now. The trip to Bizu Patisserie at the Greenhills Promenade was actually to celebrate the new camera, a gift. I can’t believe it’s been a year since the last time I set foot in the big city. I love it so much in Laoag that I don’t miss going to Manila. There’s actually nothing to miss, anyway, if you’re not into modern day decadence, except for food, I guess, some fancy food.

Macarons de Paris which Bizu is famous for. They brought them first to the Philippines.

Triple X… French cakes named Samba, Opera, Nirvana, Amour, etc.

Their personal size designer cakes

A fairytale-like scene with all the truffles and eye candy around.

For the chocolate lovers with sugar-restricted diets…

or for people like me who have sweet tooth but have to watch their diets.

If only I could just sit and savor the smell of sweets the whole day… and not buy anything.

What we had… 3 dips with baguettini. The dips: mushrooms in cream, spinach and cheese and tomato rosemary.

I shared this clam chowder in sour dough with someone. Better than the one I had in a restaurant in San Francisco.

If I remember right this was poached salmon with risotto, a creamy rice dish, and asparagus spears, my favorite veggie.

My personal size Yoga, quite a healthy indulgence in “less sugar” perfection.

Oh, Manila! I don’t think I can ever visit you soon.

Photos by Blauearth Copyright © Blauearth™ ALL RIGHTS RESERVED