Cupcake Monday! Ladurée and Neat Pasta
I feel a bit silly showing macarons yet again, but people like to look at them! My theory to support is that they make people happy to see them because 1) they're round and there's something about round that is aesthetically pleasing for some reason 2) they're colourful and colour makes us feel good 3) we're masochists and like to torture ourselves by looking at tasty things that most of us can't readily procure.
These were a most well-received present from Mr. Swelle to me and Baby Swelle from his recent trip to Tuscany. I think I drooled a bit when I saw that glorious pistachio bag with the flaxen braided handles. Obviously these are not Italian, they came from the Ladurée at Charles de Gaulle aiprort where apparently patience was running short, and therefore the flavours were chosen in haste. But you can't go wrong, can you? This was the first time I tried the chocolate. I've never selected chocolate when I bought a box, figuring why would you have chocolate when there are so many gorgeous flavours to try? Turns out I was missing out, the chocolate was divine.
I have to say Pierre Hermé is my absolute favourite for macarons, but you can't beat Ladurée for packaging, decor and all-round decadence, an homage to their patron saint, Marie Antoinettte. Speaking of her, the silk tapestry under the box is a souvenir I brought home from my visit to Versailles, and it was based on a design commissioned for the tragic Queen.
And especially for Baby Swelle, the pasta freak of the family, 'Pasta Loca' from Tuscany in all kinds of neat shapes with colours and flavours from various vegetables. It's exceptionally tasty with a splash of olive oil and fresh parmesan. I accidentally overcooked it and it was still worlds apart from the other allegedly Italian pasta I've bought here when cooked al dente.
(Yes, you can see the wipe streaks on our lacquer table. I am aware of it.)