I thought I would take a break from the conflicts and human rights abuses of parts of Africa and write another review about Macarons for a while.
These come in a box of twelve. They are organised left to right with two of each of Vanilla, Pistachio, Coffee, Strawberry, Lemon and Chocolate flavours. The actual macaron consistency is quite nice, though light on the refreshing bergamot, rose or orange blossom flavours at my favourite Ladurée. Or indeed the Earl Grey tea flavour available at Fortnum and Mason.
The almond flour taste comes through clearly, though one gets the sense that it is perhaps a little less fine ground than that at Ladurée. They are also a bit too light on the creamy fillings which does not help the general balance. To my mild disapproval in the case of the strawberry one it is filled with jam, giving me the impression that this, and the lemon macaron are both slightly too sweet. The lemon one tastes as if it might have been made with some kind of cordial rather than fresh lemon and zest that I would prefer. This gives the whole box the impression of being quite samey flavour wise, and lacking in the palate cleansing excitement of a clever selection at Ladurée.
The box is a cheaper production than Ladurée, though it is terribly European looking and comes secured with a curled pink plastic ribbon and a cheery label of a can can dancer's legs reminding you that Patisserie Valerie was established in the heady days of 1926. Patisserie Valerie was, I have just discovered, founded in London's Soho, by a Belgian. So the branch I used to walk past near the gay bars, the tattoo parlours, and the specialist coffee, sex and lingerie shops, and where I used to get my photographs processed, was probably almost as original as you can get. The original having been bombed in WW2. This connection makes me feel slightly better about the macarons.
Though I have enjoyed their lunches in South Kensington and loved to look at the patisserie in the windows since being introduced to it in about 1997 by a friend from the church across the road called Lucy, who later kindly lent me her flat for a while, one one of the occasions that I suddenly found myself homeless around that time.
There are other blog posts here about macarons here:
Post updated on Friday 8th of June as I noticed a minor typographical error (a word repeated).