Thanks for 150 Years of Awesome Macarons, Ladurée!

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[Photos: Robyn Lee]

We wouldn't have much of a Macaron Day to celebrate without Ladurée, the French macaron parlor that turns 150 years old in 2012. Legend goes that we have them to thank for inventing the modern macaron when, in the 1930s, they sandwiched two almond meringue cookies around some chocolate ganache. An inspired vision or a happy accident? We're not sure, but either way we're grateful.

Ladurée arrived in the U.S. last year to the slobbering enthusiasm of macaronophiles, who previously could only find the cookies in Paris, London, or...Qatar. But we'll forgive the patisserie for its globetrotting; shortly after settling here it won our hearts with some of the best macarons in New York City.

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Wondering what all the fuss and adoration is about? I did, too, and was unconvinced that a tiny cookie which regularly sells for $3 could possibly be worth it. Then I took a bite of Ladurée's chestnut macaron at their London branch—and started hurling ebullient obscenities into the posh streets of Knightsbridge.* What makes a macaron so good? A perfect one makes you feel, if only for a moment, like everything is right in the world. It delivers a singular texture and intensity of flavor that lesser cookies can only dream of. Most macarons don't even reach that plane. But Ladurée's can.

* Yes, I know, how American.

So let's take a minute to thank a minute to thank Ladurée, for all the macarons—and the memories.