Friday, April 9, 2010

Cookie Monster

Reading contemporary novels set in Paris is one way of letting your mind travel when you're unable to physically be there. Recently, I finished a mediocre getaway girls novel called Daring Chloe. When Chloe's immature fiancee ditches her on the eve of her wedding, her friends come to the rescue. Thanks to Chloe's book club, they all plan a trip to Paris, which is what prompted me to read it. You have to wade through 240 pages before they finally arrive in France. Then, they zip through most of the predictable, cookie cutter tourist attractions. Luckily, their expedition includes Ladurée, a gastronomic temple on les Champs Elysées, where foodies come for the exquisite, moist macaroons. (No, not those thick, coconut dollops that are familiar to most Americans.) I'm talking about delicate, colorful, confections like L’Ispahan, a pink rose water macaroon stuffed with fresh raspberries and lychee cream. These tiny, round buttons are crisp on the outside and smooth and soft in the middle. Chocolate, pistachio, blackcurrant violet, orange blossom, and licorice macaroons are whipped up fresh each morning, along with a host of rotating selections. The new flavor this spring? Bergamot.

Other Parisians are prone to Pierre Hermé, Lenôtre, Dalloyau, and Gérard Mulot. What about you? Start your own macaroon (or macaron, as the French say) expedition. Win $10,000 in Carhartt's Outdoor Expedition Sweepstakes and discover how the cookie crumbles in Paris. Put down the calorie counter and enter.

Voilà - the link to Carhartt's $10,000 Outdoor Expedition Sweepstakes:

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