French macarons should not be confused with American macaroons. Their pronunciation is different: the French macaron sounds like you left the lights "on" at the end of the word, and the American macaroon sounds like you slept 'til "noon" at the end of the word. mah/kah/roh~ vs. ma-ke-rune.
American MacaroonThe American macaroons are little mounds of coconut fluff, while the French macarons are a sandwich of two almond meringue cookies stuffed with a flavored filling in the middle.
Laduree in St. Germaine Des Pres, ParisWe investigated French macarons at the popular pastisserie, Laduree. They claim to have created the modern colored macaron. The store in the photo was just around the corner from our hotel. There is a larger one on the Champs de L'Eysee. Laduree is pronounced lah/dew/ray.
The hottest flavor was fleur de sel: caramel with salted butter.
They were expensive (about $2 each) so we were wondering if they could live up to their expectations.
Macarons may not be a trendy as they once were but we are glad we sampled the real deal.
They are delicate and difficult to make properly, so you won't see me trying to make them any time soon! I will just savor the memories of the ones we had from Laduree.