Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Confessions of a Mac-aholic

Photo(c)The Selby.com
Paris is besotted with Confessions of a Shopaholic. You can not take a Metro or bus without confronting this image... Photo (c) The Selby.comSome people are SHOE-aholics as noted on The Selby.com... I am a MAC-aholic. This trip, well last Friday to be exact, I brought home 19 (!) boxes of Parisien macarons (oui, reserche again). It was quite a challenge and required consultations with one of the world's best mac makers....Dalloyau One thing I learned is look for macs packed in a box with no spaces like these at Dalloyau...Look at the big spaces in Patisserie Carette's beautiful box. What to do?Tartelette's experte advice-Kleenex Helene of Tartelette , Champion du Monde macaron-maker says, put little pads of tissue paper (Toilet paper or Kleenex) and fill in the spaces in the box so the macs don't bang around and crack.Pascal-Caffet.comI found a new place for macarons from M.O.F. pastry chef Pascal Caffet . His boxes are perfect for travel and preserving your macarons. I have yet to tastes them. Note each mac has it's own little compartment so it can't jump around.
A side view of macarons
Hyper Marche Champion from hyper marche Champion.
You get 12 macs for 6.50 euros. Pas mal. Consider it research to have a few bites from the bottom of the food chain as well as the top.
 This global chain stores their macarons in compartmentalized containers.
 But packs them loose in their fancy boxes. No protection.

Sharon said...You keep mentioning (and painting) macarons. What are they exactly? Describe what it feels like to eat one. They must be fantastique! ps: I'm living vicariously through your adventures!Take your average OREO cookie.
And you have all the components of a Parisien macaron.
2 lids or shells (coques) made of delicate, chewy meringue + a filling of jam (confiture), ganache (chocolate creme) or caramel.
Macarons are smaller than Oreos and don't keep long as a rule, so instant gratification is part of the joyous experience of eating them. miam miam And they come in a vast and endless range of exotic flavors and rainbow colors. Some are even savory...
Before I caught the plane Friday, I made a last minute dash to Gerard Mulot *Note the whole counter in the front of the store right is only macarons.
I should have put all my traveling macs into sacs/cabas instead of a giant BHV bag. I got stopped at French customs before boarding the plane. A shout went out like 8 times -Scan..scan...scan...scan!
They came running over with a weird wand and ran it all over my person and across my hands?
And I was wearing my French "macaron" T-shirt.
Am I a macaron-terroriste.
Is there metal in macarons?

At USA customs the guy asked me,
"Do you have any food?"
"No, just cookies"
"OK, you're set".
Who knew US customs is easier on macs than the French?


  1. I could be a mac aholic for sure!!!! Et une accro de Paris Breakfasts of course. Bravo pour ce merveilleux article. At least, you have a lot of souvenirs from Paris in your fridge!!!!!

  2. We're in Paris now & tasted our fist macarons last night. Citron for me & frambroise for my daughter. Ooh-la-la! I can now understand your obsession! I am looking foward to my next one.

  3. 19 boxes, you rock!

  4. Bethany6:09 AM


  5. You have outdone yourself on this post - I think it might be your best one yet!!! I loved the pic of you measuring the little buggers!!! Since moving to Berlin, from Amsterdam (I lived in Paris for 5 years before then) I've been delighted because Berlin unlike A'dam has a Galleries Lafayette and they have a stall selling MACAROONS!! This afternoon in your honor, I'm walking down the the Gendarmenmarkt for a box of macaroons and I won't be sharing with my husband!! He can get his own box!!

  6. 19 BOXES must have cost a fortune or were the chefs kind to you ????

  7. No wheres nearly as $$$ as one meal in a 3*** restaurant for sure.
    Besides who thinks about such things in Paris...sigh

  8. I outdid myself this time Kat..
    Who knew it was possible ?
    For ages I never brought any macarons home at all!
    What missed opportunities
    ? ? ? go figure
    I'm making up for lost time I guess :)

  9. Anonymous6:23 AM

    Bonjour Carol, I am downunder in Australia. I have been partaking of Paris Breakfast for some time now.

    I hope to be in Paris for Spring 2010 and now collect the places you refer to for my must see list.

    I look forward to my first maracon.


  10. Hi Carol,

    I am currently working on a miniature Paris Bakery (1:12 scale). I wanted to know if you made replica Laduree boxes in this scale. Please e-mail.



  11. Another Macaron addict;)

  12. macarons are the prettiest thing!
    i'll definitely do a macarons research too when im in paris ;p

  13. Nah.
    Can't mention Oreo and Macarons in the same post. Nope! Nein! NON!

    Did you ever go behind the scene and watched them make the Macarons?

  14. The real question is...do you need help eating those? I'll be right over :)

    While in DC recently I was on the hunt for macarons, and described them to a friend who didn't think they sounded appealing. I made her eat one and now she is addicted!!

  15. Mamma mia, *)
    you make me want to run down to Demel's and fill my bag with macarons. Talk about enticing post, cher Carol, that one is macaron-inducement of the best kind.

    I have yet to find a macaron that can be turned apart, like the Oreo cookie (not that I'd ever want to, they three parts are a marriage made in patisserie heaven).

    (could you teach me how to say this in French, s.v.p.? Would "sacre macarons" do?)

  16. Hahaha I have to laugh at the 'macaron-terorriste' thing :) Great photos, your blog have inspired me to try and taste some mac :)

  17. Silly me.
    I thought this might be about computers.
    I tried my first mac in Chicago this weekend after seeing them here so often. I think it had jet lag. I'll try again next time I go to Paris.

  18. Allo...Allo H. Peter!Just click on the link for
    MEET THE FRENCH MACARON and it's all there.
    A behind the scenes view of making macarons.

  19. After all the Macaronian Rhapsodies I've read about here, I finally broke down and bought some - albeit in Bouchon in Columbus Circle, probably not nearly as amazing as the Parisian ones. Even so I was blown away. They're both gorgeous to look at and they taste lovely. Thanks!

  20. MERISI: I know
    I scarfed down 3 so-called bad ones...from doing this post :)

  21. Love the comparison of your macs and your paint box colors, makes me smile :)

  22. Such an entertaining post! And informative too. I'm following your advice on my next trip to Paris for sure - My Laduree macarons were a little worse for wear by the time I got home. The most delicious crumbs ever!

  23. What are you doing with 19 boxes of macaroons??? I know one box is never enough...Such a fun post Carol, love it. xv

  24. Macaroons are so good! I can only imagine how some from Paris tastes.

  25. What incredible research! You've outdone yourself with your report!
    I'd apply for a grant :-)

  26. I will be in Paris in October and have never seen a macaron and can't wait to try them.

    You purchased from many different stores and I'm wondering if you have a top three to suggest? Or are they all equally good?

    Wonderful post,

  27. delicious post!!! There is a great video on making strawberry macaroons with the title "Sucre - French Macaroons" on You Tube, http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yJVHjo3K0j0

    someday I will be brave enough to attempt to make macaroons...Jan

  28. As usual, a wonderfully entertaining blog. I love the idea of doing food research. I will try that with some of my favorite food places here where I live. However it will not be as fun as your blog. Thanks for a very fun filled and LOL coffee break, again.

  29. Precious post! Love the scientific and mathematical nature of it, hehe. Keep up the good research.

  30. Incroyable.
    I found teh "macarons making" story. Unbelieveable.

    We still do it by hand....

  31. Crazy you to buy so many macarons boxes !

  32. The Customs Officials always make me nervous. So I need to have them in a tote bag for the plane and identify them as cookies??? Do they freeze well?

    I'm waiting on your top 3 places to purchase macarons just before boarding the plane!

  33. LOL
    "No food," "just cookies." You crack me up. I could just picture that. I'd love to have had a camera of them watching the wacky lady with all the macarons. You are a riot, Carol. I was thinking, those macs need their own little compartments--and then I read where you said some of them do. Glad you did all that research for us. You're too kind.

  34. If I am ever on a jet that crashes on a desert island, I hope you an your 19 boxes of macs are on the jet, too!
    There should be some sort of airline packing award for anyone who can bring home 19 boxes unscathed!

  35. Anonymous3:44 AM

    Gorgeous photos! Can you please tell me what the filling of the menthe-flavoured macarons was? A mint jam, or a mint cream? I love macarons, but I've never seen the mint kind before.

    Greetings from Melbourne,

  36. Kathleen3:55 AM

    Hi Carol,
    I love reading your daily emails with my breakfast!! I heard about it on Slow Trav, and I'm glad I subscribed. Just had to write and say I especially loved the one today because I am a Mac-aholic, too!! I love them!! I go to Paris once or twice/year and bring back macarons with me each time (from Pierre Herme and Laduree). They freeze really well. In fact, I still have some in the freezer from my trip to France last month.
    Thanks again for my daily dose of life in Paris!!

  37. YUM
    spaces or no spaces I am craving my mac fix right NOW...
    But alas none to be had on the Redneck Riveria ...

  38. Carol T4:13 AM

    ok, love the new blue damask-y LaDuree box, and the macaron shopping bags, and the colors are fabulous but...in all politesse... can we move on a bit, I feel as if we are in macaron morass...maybe French scrollwork, loved your balconies and you have those lovely park benches etc etc....perhaps too hard to carry home? How about Hermes "carrees" you could do a lovely survey of those on Ave Montaigne next time. sounds like you had a good trip...

  39. Sophia4:15 AM

    Bonne macaron a vous! We are sitting in our little apartment on our little street in the Marais eating the last of the Pierre Herme caramel macs....yum.
    Too much shopping today..tomorrow we need to get some culture or I won't have a dime when we get home.
    A toute a l'heure,

  40. FoodWalker4:39 AM

    you've got MAC-MADNESS!!!


  42. "Silly me.
    I thought this might be about computers.
    " (Robin @ 9:01 am)

    May I nominate Robin's comment for the "Macaron of the Day" (MAD)award?

    I laughed so hard,
    I had to put my coffee cup down!

    Thank you Robin, from the bottom of my coffee cup, I am still smiling. :-)

  43. Fantastic Blog!!! ya soy tu seguidora desde Argentina!

  44. I'm drooling with envy! I want a fridge full of macarons!!!
    Where can I get the mac bag?

  45. Kathleen10:49 AM

    Bonjour Carol,

    I liked your suggestion of putting tissues (as needed) in the box to protect the macarons in my carry-on luggage. I hadn't thought of that. Great idea!!
    *I have been freezing macarons for several years, and it works great!! This way I can continue to enjoy macarons at home until my next trip to Paris!!
    I take the macarons out of the box, and I put them in ziplock baggies (a few in each bag) and then carefully place them in the side compartment of my freezer, where there are no other items to crush them, etc. I defrost them one or two at a time, leaving them at room temperature overnnight or for a few hours. Delicious!!! Of course, I think they taste best fresh--but this is the next best thing!!... Give it a try--I think you will be happy with them!!

    Thanks again for my daily Paris "fix"!!!

  46. Margaret10:55 AM

    Bonjour Carol,
    Thanks for showing a photo in this morning's Paris Breakfast of my Laduree bag - the black one with the macs all over it. I LOVE it and carry it everyday to/drom work.

  47. Hi there! I really want to get a macaron bag! I have a friend going to Paris soon can she get the bag in any Laduree branch?
    Thanks thanks!


  48. Glad I could help! You my dear are the world champion of the traveling macaron!!

  49. oh, absolutely love your comparison of macs with the watercolor set! Endless and inspirational creativity!

  50. We went to Tara's for dinner when we were in Paris and ate Macaron and fresh cherries for desert - YUM!

  51. What a great post! My husband and I just returned from Paris a couple of days ago, and we absolutely had to stock up on macarons!

    Before we went to Paris, we drooled over your article for a week or so. Your post and its beautiful photos definitely prepared us for all of the macarons we saw there. But it was such fun buying and trying them from Pierre Herme, La Duree, and Gerard Mulot (as well as two local bakeries). We definitely loved the Gerard Mulot ones best, especially the strawberry ones. Oh la la!

  52. Do you ever get sick of eating macarons? I don't know many people who eat them as much as you do. Its nuts. I've been living on top of a boulangerie for the past 9 months now...no temptations. Maybe I'm nuts.


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