Published January 23, 2009
Sofia Coppola has a thing for the macaroons from Parisian tea room Ladurée, which is why the melt-in-your-mouth almond pastries, filled with flavored cream, are everywhere in her re-cast of the French Revolution, Marie Antoinette. In fact, almost everyone in Paris swoons over this house specialty: Gourmands barricade the street in support of their favorite flavor. So when Ladurée sent me an invitation to fête its collaboration with Swarovski crystals I was thrilled. What could be more elegant than a glitter-dusted macaroons; what might a crystal-flavored éclair taste like? So off I went to the pastry-maker’s tea room on rue Bonaparte, once the celebrated hangout of the infamous Madeleine Castaing, the grande dame decorator and art patron (notably for Chaim Soutine), who reined over Paris for over 50 years from her pied-à-terre above the store. A gaggle of Paris’s gastronomical experts were busy tucking in by the time I arrived upstairs. To my initial disappointment edibile crystals aren’t on Ladurée and Swarovki’s menu. Instead, head pastry chef Philippe Andrieu asked Swarovski to come up with a package for Valentine’s Day devotees. The little purple and silver boxes are packed with a selection of eight macaroons, including the house’s newest flavor, the decadent, dark purple myrtille (blueberry). The silver heart on the front of the box can be inscribed with a choice of three Swarovski crystal drop messages: “Love Me…,” “Marry Me?” or the enigmatic “In Love Soon.”
The only hitch: Ladurée hasn’t opened a tea room in the US yet. So if you want to declare your love in macaroons and crystals for Valentine’s Day you will just have to travel to Paris, London, or Tokyo—or have a friend freeze-dry—starting February 10.