November is going to be the “see how much I can post at this blog” month in conjunction with NaNoWriMo. Explanation here: November NaNoWriMo Challenge. I need to post 616 more words today to meet my goal of 1,667 words per day through the month of November. Ergo, gratuitous sentences like the previous one just so I can increase my word count, heh.
You may have read my previous post about going to Ladurée. Well, I had to go back. This past week, P Jiddy (my significant other whom I often call “PJ” or “Peej” on this blog. Thank you, blogfriend Blackhornet aka Sucka for the new moniker!) and I hosted two young friends from California, Dani and Minnie. I “met” Dani almost four years ago through my blog on the now-defunct Yahoo! 360° but just met her face-to-face for the first time this past week when she and her girlfriend Minnie passed through Paris at the tail end of their three-month backpacking-and-hitching-through-Europe tour. You can read more about their journeys here at Dani’s travel blog: Danidani’s Travel Blog.
Side note: I love the Parc des Buttes Chaumont, too. You can read more about it at its Wikipedia article: BUTTES CHAUMONT.
The week, briefly, in review.
THURSDAY, Oct. 22 – Dani and Melinda arrived at our home in Paris. We grocery shopped at Leader Price, everyone (but me) ate P Jiddy’s Bachelor Recipe #1 Ay Carumba Pasghetti (a gluten-laden pasta dish that is really delicious and composed of a few, simple ingredients. I may try to post it later. It is one of two recipes PJ posted in his own 360° blog about four years ago and which is a recipe in regular rotation here for PJ and his kiddos). We listened to Dani and Melinda play beautiful acoustic music.
FRIDAY, Oct. 23 – We three girls went out and about on Friday to the local park, the Buttes Chaumont (see above). That night, we watched the movie Paris je t’aime, which highlights several places in the city and is a delightful movie to watch whether one is interested in Paris or not. It’s a movie one should see! It’s like a bunch of short stories brought to life in film. I hear there is a New York version coming out either this month or next in the States. Should be good…
SATURDAY, Oct. 24 – We went to another large park in our section of Paris, the Parc de la Villette. PJ’s son (Bon Fils) joined us that evening and Bon Fils, PJ, Dani, and Minnie all tried out cheese fondue. Not me. Forbidden foods, bread and cheese. *sigh* PJ, Dani, and Minnie enjoyed wine as well.
SUNDAY, Oct 25 – On Sunday, Dani and Minnie struck out on their own to see the Eiffel Tower and other famous things in the City of Lights. Dani and Minnie cooked a fabulous (I heard, and it looked fantastic) pasta dish for pasta partakers. The rest of us hung out at home. It was one of those days where you stay in jammies all day and just BE.
I feel like an addict. These are becoming like crack to me. Since they are one food I can actually EAT and enjoy here in Paris, I am becoming a huge fan, especially of the Ladurée ones, which truly are delicious.
I went in. I bought almost all of the remaining flavors I had not tried on my previous visit.
Most of the flavors and their descriptions can be found here at the A Life Worth Eating blog about Ladurée’s Macarons.
The ones I got this time were:
- Bergamote (bergamot)
- Reglisse (licorice)
- Fleur d’orange (orange blossom)
- Cédrat (a type of agrume, Wiki article in French here. I can’t find an English word for this citrus fruit. Citron? Which is another Ladurée flavor, and is “lemon” in English)
- Cassis-Violette (blackcurrent violet)
- Café (coffee)
- Vanille (vanilla)
- Fruits Rouges (berries)
- Rose-Pamplemousse (rose grapefruit)
- Citron (Lemon)
Once again I had to use English after starting off in French as there was confusion about boxes and amounts. I really just wanted to try 10 macarons at 1 € 50 apiece and have them put in le sac for immediate eating in Les Tuileries, where I planned to walk afterwards to have a seat with the express purpose of eating a few of the little gems. The gentleman serving me switched to English when he could tell I did not really comprehend his expressing to me in French that 10 macarons would get too squished in a bag and that I would do better to buy a dozen in a box. He did not use the word “squish,” haha. That’s my paraphrase up there. I think he just wanted to try to sell me more. He could have put five in two bags. Anyway, he really was just trying to twist my arm to buy two more macarons, and he did not have to twist too hard. It cost…… kind of a lot, heh! Not going to disclose here (PJ would be appalled. Honey, remember I am not spending money on ciggies now. This was kind of in place of that, and now that I have tried all the flavors, I will lay off the Ladurée visits for a time), but I paid for the box in addition to the macarons. *sigh* Yeah, I was had in the whole situation with the server, heretofore to be known as “The Dealer.”
My French may have failed me in discussing macarons amounts, but I did tell The Dealer all the flavors I wanted in French, and I think I did a pretty good job. He understood all of what I said, anyways. I got through my list of ten which I had written down in a little notebook while waiting in line so I could order without a hitch, but I had no idea what remaining two to order. I should have gotten the chocolat amer, the dark chocolate and one that I had not yet tried, but the place was very crowded, I felt rushed, and I lost my head about which other ones I had not tried, so I asked The Dealer to “Surprise me!” and pop two more in the box to make up my dozen. He laughed, and complied. I would up with a figue and a praline, two I had tried before (off to the far right in the photo below).
I walked through the Place de la Concorde and got some good photos.
More at this Flickr set.
I got to the Tulieries.
I grabbed a chair, and took photos of the macarons before digging in.
I started with the reglisse (licorice).
I bit into it.
Here is, verbatim, what I wrote in my notebook:
“oh my god!
afterkick [I meant here that the licorice flavor kicked in after the eating. Like the "finish" in wine tasting. It was gorgeous.]
It is a beautiful, glossy black and I agree with Adam’s assessment at the A Life Worth Eating blog I linked earlier:
Since my first two cookies were stunning, I wanted to follow it up with a flavor I have always hated, just for comparison. It came down to coffee and licorice, the latter of which winning because of its jet-black color and golden-green filling. Sit down for a second, please; because what I’m about to suggest might sound alarming. Ladurée’s licorice macaron is the single most delectable macaron I have ever tasted. I know how it sounds. “But licorice?!” I was a bit startled myself; so much so, in fact, that I later returned and tried a large box of only licorice macarons for confirmation. Confirmed. This flavor is special is because it tastes more like chestnut or almond than licorice, while still maintaining the winter cool fresh aftertaste of licorice. The cookie also smells like licorice. A strange discovery indeed; but, this was hands down delicious. A must for trying, in my book.
What happened next was unexpected.
A young man came up to where I was sitting in the park. We greeted in French, but then I let him know I did not speak French. He asked where I was from and then we kicked into English, which he used haltingly. He was Roberto from Rome, traveling solo for four days to see the City of Light. He asked if the seat next to me was open. I hastily closed my Ladurée box and put it back in its bag.
Like an idiot, though, I had to start talking about the journey I just took. I was recommending Roberto try the goodies at Ladurée and even went so far as to show him on the map where the rue Royale and Champs-Elysées locations were. I really should have shut up, for then he said the dreaded words in Italian-accented, non-native speaker (PC for “broken”) English:
“I TRY ONE?”
Words I was NOT wanting to hear.
Then I remembered the figue and praline flavors in the box. I said, “Okay” and pointed to the figue and the praline. “These two are very, very good, especially this one,” gesturing to the ruby red figue. I loved the figue the last time I tried it, but figured maybe it was good karma to give it to the lonely Italian traveler. He ate it.
Roberto and I had previously discussed that I had a boyfriend and had to be leaving soon (the Tuileries toilets were closed, it was after four in the afternoon and I had not peed since 11 in the morning. You know, I’m anxious about finding les toilettes in Paris). He had clearly been hoping to connect with someone to share a Parisian adventure, and he’d singled me out. I kept thinking, “I think I am old enough to be his mother,” not my first experience that week. I had discovered that twenty-two-year-old Minnie’s mother is a WHOLE YEAR younger than me, a fact which thoroughly freaked me out when I found out about it. I was also flattered at Roberto’s attention, but now it occurs to me that he was probably just after my macarons. Here’s why I think so. After he ate the figue macaron, he pretty much said something like, “Have a good day!” and clearly was ready to take his leave.
I got home, ate a couple of more (okay, six) macarons in secret in our bedroom, and then had the last four for breakfast on Tuesday morning.
I am a happy addict.
(Word Count for NaNoWriMo: 2140. Word Count Tool. Oh hey — I just noticed that WordPress gives a word count, too. Theirs says 2125. Maybe I can split the differernce, heh.)