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Macaroon madness

Updated: 2013-06-03 10:46
By Mathew Scott ( China Daily)
Macaroon madness

The varieties of macaroons have been expanded to everything, including rose macaroons and mint macaroons.

Macaroon madness

The varieties of macaroons have been expanded to everything, including rose macaroons and mint macaroons.

Seeing a dozen people or so line up inside the Laduree outlet in Hong Kong's Harbour City mall is now a common sight.

"We're here for the macaroons," Stella Yang says. She and her friends from Shanghai are in Hong Kong for the weekend. "And we don't care how long we have to wait to get them. We've promised friends back home we'll bring them some and we plan to get plenty for ourselves as well."

Such passion has followed the macaroon as it has spread its charms across the globe over the past decade.

The tasty little treat once reserved for those in France only or for those lucky enough to know friends or family passing through that country, has become increasingly available as the likes of Laudree expands its reach to meet growing demand around the world.

And China has not been left out of the craze.

The 151-year-old Laduree bakery brand made its first foray into the country with the opening of the Hong Kong shop in December, and in May saw the opening of the first Macarons & Chocolats boutique here to bear the name of the man who has become known as the "Picasso of Pastry" Pierre Herme.

Herme, whose own family traces its baking history back to the 1870s, was himself part of the Laduree team before establishing his own brand in 1998. Since then his brand has expanded to such a degree, that the company recently announced plans to triple its production by 2017.

There are also chocolates and desserts that are now available under the Pierre Herme name, and an exclusive arrangement with the luxurious Le Royal Monceau, Raffles Paris that sees Herme providing exclusive breakfasts, along with this famous pastry, to guests, as well as the desserts presented at the hotel's two Michelin-starred restaurants, La Cuisine and Il Capaccio.

But for many, it will always be about the macaroons and Herme says he is excited to see how customers react to his Hong Kong boutique, situated in the IFC Mall, and that he is eager to learn more about the specific tastes of the people his outlet will serve.

"We started the company because we wanted to do things that are new and to find new challenges and that has led us to Hong Kong," Herme says.

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