Thursday, August 21, 2008

Macaron Mathematics

100 grs., original watercolor,9" x 11"
Class, today we are going to tackle the complex subject of macaron math.

You walk into any Parisien patisserie and you are instantly dazzled by the array of colors and flavors.

...And the multiple array of flavors or parfums. Your first thought is how many to choose and which ones to choose. Correct?
Then you take a look at the price (and you come down to earth with a thump. 66.00 Euros! You run from the shop tearing your hair out and shrieking.
Here is where a little macaron math comes to the rescue. This will indeed help you when buying anything in France. You MUST learn the difference between kilos and grams.

By the way, class, in these two pictures the macarons (large "individual" ones) are being sold by the piece. Please note you will pay a different price in you eat them sur place (on the spot) or for emporter (take it away).

OK here's where the math comes into action.
1 kilo = 1000 grams
1 kilos = 2.2 pounds
So if you are buying 100 grs (most often the case in patisseries) you will be getting around 3.3 ounces (just a bit under 1/4 of a pound and quite a managable amount to buy without costing an arm and a leg etc.).

When you see this sign, no need to shriek or tear out hair. Simply know you will be getting about 4-6 very nice macarons or a little under a 1/4 of a pound and not too many calories at that. Remember these are much smaller than the individual macs previously mentioned.

But here is another factor just to confuse you a bit. Most of the better patisseries will have a ready made pack of 100 grs waiting for you, so you can put away your calculators and start munching. Usually you can choose the flavors you prefer.

 For your edification: 1 kilo of macarons = usually about 70 macarons. Except in the case of Pierre Herme macarons, where I was informed that a kilo = is 60 macarons
Because their macarons are FATTER! Oui bien sur, and I got this from a reliable source.
You will be tested on this tomorrow class, so please review your notes carefully. Say after me please, san gram (cent gram).


  1. My kind of math! I love that scale, Carol. I'm a Libra, you know, so the scales are always important to me. wonderful and fun post. I'm going off to study and memorize all this tomorrow in case we have a pop quiz. Ahhhhh, the stress of it all.

  2. Anonymous9:59 AM

    I am afraid I will have to go to a summer school class on this Macaron Math!
    And I still have to get you that photograph - I have not forgotten!
    I was in a state of Macaron Madness last week - I needed a fix. Tried to call Miel and received no response! I think that either they are on vaca or they have closed!
    I love their fleur de sel caramels - oh no!

  3. Anonymous10:06 AM

    This watercolor is great, Carol--
    I love your confident "swoop" of dark color on the scale at the top there and the mirroring shadow below.
    Tres jolie.

  4. Anonymous10:07 AM

    Oh my - I'm not sure if I like your painting (which is MARVELOUS), or the post(also marvelous!) better.
    The pics had me drooling, but I really love the tone of colors you used here.
    Mmmm, macaroons!

  5. Anonymous10:16 AM

    Oh what a relief!
    merci merci!
    So all I have to do is divid 10 into the kilo price to get the 100 grs price!
    Easy as...tartes

  6. Another wonderful painting. I would go for the minis. More flavors for your money. Then when I found my favorite I would opt for the bigger ones. More flavor per cookie. Thats MY math. :))

  7. Anonymous11:17 AM

    I LOVE THIS -- though I have to admit, if I ate all the cookies I'd like to -- I'd need a much bigger scale to tell me I shouldn't!

  8. Anonymous12:28 PM

    Yes, ma'am. Thank you for the important macaron mathematics lesson. I feel very indebted to you. I will be visiting Paris in September for the first time. It is one of my dream to visit Paris.

    Your watercolour paintings and love of French patisseries are my daily dose of enjoyment before my bed time.

    Love you, love Paris.

  9. Anonymous1:29 PM

    Hope the test is open book.

  10. Anonymous1:41 PM

    love your painting of the macarons on the scale. Okay, I've studied my macaron math test!

  11. YUMMMMM.

    Now I want Macarons for Lunch- BY THE BUNCH!

    MErci for the maths.

  12. Thanks so much for the math lesson - never my strong suite - but I will Still take the largest bag I can eat in a day thank you very much :-)

  13. Anonymous6:21 PM

    Oh, I love these...I wish I could have them all!!! :o)

  14. Anonymous6:22 PM

    Mathematiques des Macarons:
    ∑ 44 macarons = 0 Re-ment grams x π dollars = ∞ admiration
    (I love your post too.
    Very tongue in cheek but also full of critical information ... I'm printing that baby out, if I ever get to go to Paris!)

  15. san gram! :-D

    *sigh* I would probably gladly pay 66 euro for 60 of Pierre Herme's macarons. And I'd probably eat them all by myself too. Is that greedy math?

  16. ooh la la... I can not concentrate on math... all I want to do is eat all these macarons! :)

  17. Anonymous3:54 AM


    A very timely class for me as we leave Tues for Paris.


  18. Anonymous4:02 AM

    mmmmm, amazing macarons!
    You are doing a wonderful job with your watercolors

  19. Anonymous6:45 AM

    hahahahaahah BRILLIANT!!!

  20. ...beautiful paints. I love maccarons and i love PARIS!!!!

  21. Anonymous6:36 PM

    ...beautiful paintings.

    I love maccarons and i love PARIS!!!!

  22. Anonymous7:56 AM

    Next lesson, please

    les couleurs des macarons

    or Des Maracons: Les couleurs

    I started trying to make them and would like to know what the colors signal.

    Pink=Strawberry or at least red berries, like raspberries maybe??
    Green ??? Lime, perhaps

    Yellow = lemon,








    If I ever get it right, I'l send you proof.

  23. Anonymous6:52 PM

    I love your post, but the macarons are very expensive I guess. Anyway, good to know. :-)


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