The first time I heard someone raving enthusiastically about a "macaroon", I was puzzled: why would one get so excited about a rather boring coconut-flavored cookie? Then I paid my first visit to Ladurée, sunk my teeth into an airy, incredibly delicious pistachio pastry that at first crunched, then melted in my mouth, and realized that I'd been confused by a common misnomer: the macaron with one "o" had nothing in common with the double-voweled American counterpart. Since then, the iconic Parisian patisserie and tearoom, first opened in 1862 on Rue Royale but now best-known for its flagship on the Champs-Elysées, has become even more of a coveted tourist destination. This is thanks in part to Sophia Coppola's film Marie-Antoinette and its borrowing of Ladurée's signature pastel hues by costume designers, as well as recent, shameless plugs on teen soap Gossip Girl.
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