In the last post, writing about the quiet holidays in Paris that my sister and I enjoyed together made me reminisce about all of the yummy macarons we've had throughout the years. My friends used to tell me that they wondered what that dessert always was in my pictures and then finally discovered it thanks to Gossip Girl. The good thing about Gossip Girl (didn't watch it, but I predicted the ending *because* I didn't follow the show, Muahaha) is that it introduced macarons to America. The bad thing is that it introduced macarons to America. And made it trendy. And people bastardized it. And called it macaroons. With an extra "O," which does not exist in French. And...anddd I could go on.
|I miss this. It's just not the same anywhere else. Must be in Paris.|
|One of Ladurée's macaron displays, symbolizing the sun. A beautiful Champs-Elysées sparkling with Christmas lights glitters in the background. Taken during holiday, some years ago.|
Sometimes, it's hard talking with people (Americans) about desserts and food in general because I don't want to sound pretentious, but just because something suddenly becomes trendy doesn't mean the replica of it is good. I was never rich by any means, but I'm grateful that my sisters and I grew up culturally-rich and world-traveling. My parents were total foodies, now that it's a term (especially sans the internet that we have today back in the 90s-pre-2008 period). We weren't rich, but when it came to food, if it was worth it, we paid it. Quality and enjoying amazing food and memories together as a family always came first.
So now we suddenly have the explosion of macarons (my fav dessert, BTW) in The States. Honestly, I was kinda bummed when my favorite dessert became trendy because it wasn't as exclusive. It used to be uber special to fly to Paris just to savor them, and now tons of people were just bragging about trying something that was on Gossip Girl...and the worst part was that they were trying "French" macarons made in America and assuming them to be the same as the originals (Pierre Hermé) when many of the places that jumped onto the bandwagon didn't do the macaron justice...but people assumed them to be good because they were "French" and "expensive" and "new."
Just like fashion, simply because something is trendy or expensive doesn't mean it's good or exudes style. However, after excitedly trying some places myself and being thoroughly disappointed by the quality, I realized that even if macarons aren't as exclusive anymore, you still have to know where to go and what to look for to find legit ones...and I hope that people only become more and more curious to fly to Paris and savor the real thing amongst Parisian backdrops for themselves at least once! :)
The good news is that some Southern Californian macaron shops have been open long enough now to be able to tell whether they are worth a visit or not. *wink!*
I've finally found a couple of places that do the macaron justice and honor...and I'll definitely be putting together a list for you!
Labels: bakeries, cafe, Champs-Elysees, desserts, France, French, Herme, holiday, Laduree, macaron, macarons, Paris, pastries, Travel