French macarons, the meringue-shell sandwich cookie, are all but inescapable in recent times. This is OK, and is even a good thing, WHEN the product in question is good. But macarons are a harsh mistress, and are often, well, ungood.
That said, there are OC macarons that are definitely worth eating, IF you like that sort of sugary, meringuey, slightly sticky sort of thing. And plenty of people seem to, God knows.
Among the ones available in OC, only one has even come close to the Platonic ideal, the macaron at macaron ground zero, the pre-multiple locations, pre-Pierre Hermes (though he came along soon after, and expanded the flavor range) Ladur?e
in Paris. The original Ladur?e on Rue Royale, to some (a some that includes me and Ivan) the ONLY, is where this most Parisian of confections originated.
(A side effect of the macaron craze is the overshadowment of the lots of other good things Ladur?e has to offer, savory as well as sweet?a story for another time.)
I featured three OC macaron makers on the Nibbles & Bits food page of Orange Coast Magazine back in June 2011
, and one of them is the aforementioned Ladur?e-esque quality. (Instructions for purchasing a digi copy of that issue of the mag, for those so inclined, are included in a link at the bottom of that page.)
Read on for details on the three.
And please, add your own OC macaron sources and stories. I wonder if there are some I didn't turn up, or some that have popped up (a little meringue humor) since.