Tuesday, July 16, 2013

A little sweetness and a little reverie

Part of being a housewife, while posted in Korea has really been about finding ways to involve myself in the community.  For the last couple of months, my writing has been published in the local magazine here and it really has inspired me to write a lot more short stories (yes, eventually I shall post them here), do more research and really spend my time doing the things that I enjoy the most. (Yes, this explains my lack in blog consistency.) But the good news is, I'm finally inspired! I've been reading a lot more 'how to' books and who knows? Maybe little ol' noodles might bang out a book one of these years... :) 

Now for something sweet. A lot of my friends from back home, SUCK. And i mean that in the most loving way possible. They post pictures of delicious food that I simply have no access too. Now we all know my pregnant lady-like cravings, so hey, if I see a picture of something that looks so good I want to eat it, well then people -- I will find it, and eat it! This time the craving was for a Macaroon. Not just any Macaroon, a Ladurée macaroon. I had long been ogling their elegant branding and cookies via photographs posted on Facebook, Instagram, and of course, Pinterest! 
Picture from Pinterest of course!
With a detailed history dating back to 1862 Paris, France – Ladurée boasts quality as well as stature. Now locating their macaroon boutiques next to luxury brands such as Hermés, Louis Vuitton and Tiffany & Co., they are available at almost all major cities around the world. Eating a Ladurée macaroon is not only becoming a trend, but also an experience. 

Our journey for the perfect macaroon took my husband, two of our unsuspecting friends, and myself to Shinsegae Department Store in Seoul (only about a ten minute cab ride around the corner from the US military base in Yongsan.) With access to Seoul being super easy from our location, hopping over to Seoul was the perfect activity for us!

If you are strapped for time, the ‘take away’ kiosk located near the bus terminal below the department store is great for grab ‘n’ go customers, however, the real breath taker is the boutique located right next to Tiffany. To get here, you will need to walk towards the terminal area on the ground level. Toward the back of the department store, in the center of the terminal, you will see escalators going towards the annex section of the building. On the 2nd floor, turn right; you will see the pretty pastels of the boutique calling you in like a siren. 

Unfortunately photographs are prohibited at the store, but we didn’t mind at all. Surrounded by sugary delights we began ordering away. At KRW 3,500 for just one cookie, I made my selection carefully. I tried the rose, raspberry, pure origin Ghana chocolate, and caramel a la fleur de sel - caramel with salted butter.

My foodie husband had the brilliant idea of doing a taste comparison, so we went to the food hall, at the basement of the department store, and bought cheaper macaroons (similar flavors) sold by a local kiosk. What really was the big deal about these macaroons?

Two distinctions: (1) Fragrance. One bite into the local Macaroon and it is just a cookie. One bite into the Ladurée Macaroon, and you are instantly transported to a magical place, while you wonder how they made this wonderful cookie taste so delicate and intoxicating. (2) Texture. The fluffiness of the Ladurée vs the local cookie was night and day.

If you lost interest during my ode towards sugar and macaroons, and only end up reading this paragraph, I hope you decide to hunt this place down – It’s a great way to taste a little bit of France, and check out a really impressive department store while in Seoul. If you are my friend and happen to go to Laduree over the weekend – BRING ME A MACAROON!

Ladurée Seoul
Shinsegae Gangnam Dept. Store
19-3 Banpo-dong,
Seoul - Korea


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