Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Your Macaron Opinion Requested...

Your astute opinion is requested.
Please tell me why you love Paris macarons. Are you over-the-top nuts about them the way I am? Will you only buy macarons at one particular place or do you try them from every patisserie you encounter walking around Paris?
Have you tried to make them at home?
And do you search for them on your home turf, hoping and praying you'll find something close to a Parisien macaron?
Do you like the big individual size macarons?
Or do you prefer the tiny jewel-like macs..?
Will you to try any flavor/savour? Or do you always buy the same flavors over and over? I do - citron, caramel and passion fruit, but I've never been able to buy a box of just one flavor. The brilliant colors are too tempting...
A favorite macaron place or story?
Do you collect the macaron boxes and find other uses for them?
Have you ever picked one out of the trash in Paris? Eeep...I have on a number of occasions. Of course it's all for research purposes and possible future still lifes. They're too pretty to just toss away in my opinion...hum..hum
One step out the door, do you immediately check your bag of goodies?
Just making sure everything is there, so no disappointments later bien sur...
Have you ever sneaked a bite right inside the shop or just outside...ahem?
I'm working on a macaron project - still in the research stages...
And I would love to know what you think about Paris macarons...
Do macarons say Paris to you?
Do tell all. Your opinions and thoughts would be most appreciated.


Leslie said...

Recently my husband arranged a birthday treat for me - two nights in the Pavillon de la Reine, on the Place des Vosges - bliss.
Anyway, when we arrived at the Pavillon de la Reine, there was Champagne and macaroons in the room - from Gerard Mulot, near to the hotel. These were far and away the best I have ever had, and I have tried several, including Laduree and Paul. The flavours were exquisite - the caramel divine, and there was a ginger one (with lime?) which was wonderful. Also, some of the surfaces had texture - bits as delicate as pressed flowers.
We brought some home, and I still fantasise about them (I think you can buy them on the Internet).
As far as I'm concerned, they knock every other macaroon into a cocked hat, or the French equivalent.
Thank you for your blog. I agree that Paris is the best place on earth - but also a state of mind.
Very best wishes,


Anonymous said...

Yes, macarons say "Paris" to me! I buy them on every trip to eat along the way, and always bring some home as gifts. I prefer the mini's--the big ones taste good, but invaribly have a different texture. I've learned how to make them at home, and though they're tricky, I've had good results. I seem to always buy the same flavors too--caramel au burre sale, pistachio, and chocolate ALWAYS, and the occasional framboise, citron, fraise, orange, etc. At home I've made apricot and rose too. Love 'em! :)

Judi in Melbourne said...

Hi Carol
I've been reading your blog now for a couple of years and love it - particularly because you too are a fanatical macaron lover! I first tasted macarons in Paris at Easter in 2004. My husband, daughter and I walked past a Laduree store and I saw the lovely boxes in the window (I collect boxes). When I went in to buy one I noticed just about every customer was buying these brightly coloured things called macarons, so I bought us one each. Of course, when we took a bite I had to hurry back in to buy one of every flavour. Then my husband and I were in London two years later and the first thing we did was have afternoon tea at the Laduree salon in Harrods. We also bought Pierre Herme's in Tokyo a couple of years ago but didn't think they measured up to Laduree's.

Until very recently it was impossible to buy a decent (edible) macaron in Melbourne. However, there are now a couple of places - a Lindt cafe has just opened two cafes and they sell "delices" which are the same as macarons, and there are a couple of other places too. They are a pretty good rendition though the explosion of flavour of the Laduree ones is missing.

A friend of mine and I have spent the last month making our own and after a couple of very ordinary batches and a bit of experimenting with different recipes we have just about got it down pat. Our lemon, hazelnut/choc, passionfruit/choc and pistachio are terrific but it's hard to replicate any other flavours, mainly I think because the flavouring ingredients just aren't available here. For example we've tried making violet macs with Monin syrup and crystallised violets but they lacked strong flavour. I see there's a violette paste which we could obtain from Amazon but it only comes in 1kg jars and is prohibitively expensive. I have given some of our macs to friends who have never had the genuine article and they are very impressed, saying they are the best things they have every had, so I always tell them to go to Paris and be
really blown away!

The further I get from my memories of the first Laduree ones the more I forget what they were really like. A return trip to Paris in the future is a must obviously. A friend is planning a trip to France next year so she is under strict instructions to buy some Laduree macs, take them back to her hotel and dissect them and make notes, answering my questions...like are the shells flavoured, and are the fillings mainly a similar consistency to the shells (I'm sure I don't remember any with buttercream and my own attempts to use it seemed to be wrong).

Well I told you I was obsessed! Meanwhile keep up the lovely blog.
Best regards,
Judi in Melbourne

Rae said...

Macarons are one of the things I think about when someone says Paris. They're just so colorfull and pretty! And they tastes amazing! :) I haven't eaten them so many times, because I can't find them here in the Netherlands. But when I do I usually pick café, caramel, passionfruit. I buy them anywhere in Paris while walking around.

:) Bye! x

Parisbreakfasts said...

OH MY GOD Judi!!!!
Do share yr recipe-I must get cracking on making them soon as I get a Kitchen Aide :(
I have not a pastry chef mentality
FEAR and trembling overcome me at the very thought of it!!
I took a class at Lenotre and it only made things worse!
The shells are only flavored in the pistachio, chocolate and maybe vanilla & cafe...the others are just colored is what I learned.
Meringue is very delicate..

Marty said...

1) A Paris macaron is heaven in your mouth......

2) Love em while in Paris.........

3) I get em where I know they are good and will experiment now and then.....

4) Wouldn't want to ruin the spell they have on me.......

5) I've found some that are shipped over but they seem to have lost their "snap" so
to speak.......

6) Big (and mini) macarons aren't as sensual......

7) Not a big fan of Licorice, other than that I'm and equal opportunity macaron

8) Patisserie near Place Clichy, my first ......

9) Boxes just remind me they're empty........

10) See # 9

11) I treat them like they are a present...... I like to be somewhere quiet, sitting, preferably with a latte or even milk..... open the bag or box and enjoy my gift....

12) Right now I have macaron envy......

Lady Macaron said...

of course Lady Macaron lovvesss macarons! I love them because they are so unbelievably tricky to make yet I love it when they rose and unleashed little feet and i know i have succeeded. For taste I believe Laduree has authentic flavors that are either black or white, whereas with Pierre Herme, his macaron flavors are ambiguous and they are like a certain feeling,memory of something. He said that a macaron should be visually beautiful,aromatic and in perfect harmony of shells and fillings. I would love to try more other boulangeries that sells macaron, I've tried Paul's and some mentioned in David Lebovitz website. I think all of them does them perfectly, it's like a part of french people, they pour their emotions in their baking. I live between Australia and Asia, macarons are spreading in my cities yet deep inside me I yearn to go back to Paris, because no macarons would equal to french macarons. My favorite flavor is Laduree caramel and PH vanilla olive oil. Jasmine is divine too and he dedicated that flavor to Jean Patou. Great post Carol, looking forward for the macaron project :)

vicki archer said...

It is the chewy centres for me, xv.

Unknown said...

Hello, I loved your post and think you should do this research!
I am Brazilian, live in Rio de Janeiro and became obsessed with macarons in 1999, when I lived in Paris for a while in order to do a french course. I was so mad about macarons that I just ate macarons, nothing more! I tried every patisserie I came across... When I was back in Rio, I tried to make them at home but our climate is too hot and they werenot even close to what I had just tasted in Paris... In 2006, I met Carla daudt (http://www.carladaudt.com.br), a girl who studied patisserie in Paris and now sells macarons here in Rio! The result of this was that in marriage I contracted a table full of macarons instead of the traditional pastries. It was a success! I am now mad about the macaron boxes with Louboutins and I have no means of obtaining it! Can you help me with that??? I think they do not deliver in Brazil!The mon macaron box is also wonderful!

le banc moussu said...

You're driving me crazy Carol. I'm dieting now for two days and when coming here the only thing I want is macaron instead of my vegetable soup.
Tried to do some bet never a real success. The inside is so difficult to do reaaly perfect.

LCM said...

There is nothing to compare to a macaron in the U.S. and seeing them on Paris Breakfasts fuels my yearning....I love them too....caramel is so the best and I would buy them wherever I saw those lovely distinctive shapes.....ummm ...and the boxes are adorable...sweet keepsakes.

Eva M. said...

I love macaroons and eat them wherever I find them!!

Kay said...

Mine is a sad story, bien sur!
I have NEVER tasted a macaron, but know
that I am in love with them because of Paris Breakfasts.
Mais, un jour, pour certain, I shall go again to Paris
and this time (instead of overloading on yummy crepes)
I shall be macaron hunting!
Keep up the great work, Carol, I feel
as if I am in Paris (or NY) when you write.
Regards from Wales

Sarah said...

i have made macarons with some success but because i use a pastry bag to dollop out on the baking sheet, they always have a look of a squashed Hersheys Kiss.
i wonder if one of you out there could help me. it is probably a simple matter to make them smooth & flatter but it hasn't occured to me. thanks for help & thanks always, PB, for your great blog.

Anne Corrons said...

j'aime les macarons parce qu'ils sont petits, c'est un petit plaisir sucré! Mais, aussi parce qu'ils allient ce contraste du craquant extérieur et du tendre et léger à l'intérieur et enfin ils sont pour moi la meilleure façon de trouver le vrai parfum de certains ingrédients, comme un sorbet Berthillon.manger un macaron PH fruit de la passion c'est comme déguster un fruit de la passion revu et corrigé! INow, I NEED a macaron!!!!!!!

Cynthia said...

Yes, I too have a sad story to tell. Been to Paris several times from Munich where I live BUT,,,,have never tasted the things. I have bought many,,,too many ,,,a praline,,,ahh melt in your mouth heaven, but never a macaron. BUT,,,,just for you,,the next time I am there I will buy a whole big colorful box of them.

H.Peter said...

We love them because they are gluten free.

Dolce said...

it's the essence of perfection, a sweet little round piece of heaven. Crunchy, soft inside, with a great ganache that complements the outside. It's everything in one!

I live in NY and I love Macaron Cafe & I also buy them at Madeleine on 23rd st. Otherwise, when winter comes, I bake them at home, but it's very, VERY long!

Debra said...

I have never had one, but have been dreaming of them since finding your delightful blog! Can you suggest a good mail-order place here in the states? I am lusting to try these darlings.
I love your illustrations.

The Fancy Lady said...

I love them more than any treat in the world ! I'm not a big sweets person so the fact they are so light fluffy and delicious is perfect for me. I currently only like laduree ones but i try them every place i see them to try and find them that good again. I finally perfected them but they were eaten before i could get picks i was pissed lol

Chris said...

They are one of my favorite treats. I even have one as part of a tattoo!

I love all flavors, and that is one of the best parts of Macaraons, the various flavors you can find.

Every new town I visit I try to find a bakery that has them, and I try them out.

I still have not tried and REAL French macarons such as Laduree. Im dying to get over there and get some. I'm sure they are heavenly.

PS Carol - I'm going to try to attend the opening at the Boston French Library on the 5th! I hope I get to meet you!

Valérie-jeanne said...

I've never eaten a macaron either, but I know I'm in love with them! While visiting Paris some years ago I had no idea these gems existed. Last year, September to be exact, Gourmet magazine printed a Paris collectors edition which included an article with several recipes for macarons. Since finding your blog, I keep looking at those recipes, I've got to try them! Other readers have had success, maybe I will too! Really love your blog Carol, you're such a talent!

Grace said...

I love Laduree's the Best! Fauchon are wonderful also. I went with a boring friend in Paris and so did not further my obsession but of what I saw Laduree had the best packaging. I wanted to bring the ribbons home with me. I am trying to get the nerve to go explore Paris myself. I did not pick the garbage in Paris lol but if I would have seen something Marie Antoniette-ish I would have or a beautiful box! I am jealous you get to go on these adventures! Grace

E-J said...

Oh my! - an Earl Grey macaron?? I keep learning that there are flavours of macaron I'd never dreamt of, having only ever sampled chocolate, pistachio and rose ...

Ink-Sketch said...

I love your blog and you're watercolors. Unfortunately, I have yet to try a macaron. I haven't found a place in my area that sells them. But your paintings are delicious! I thank you for sharing them.

sue said...

Carol, love these sketches of people. Fabulous!

Unknown said...

I prefer Laduree macarons but will try them from any patisserie as long as they look great. I learned about the macarons from "The Patisseries of Paris: Chocolatiers, Tea Salons, Ice Cream Parlors, and more”; the book my husband bought before our first trip to Paris. He then ordered the Laduree macaroons to be delivered to our hotel upon our arrival. And OMG that was an absolutely divine experience. Loved the Paris and loved the macarons.

And yes, of course I tried to make macarons at home; coffee, chocolate, and raspberry; came out a bit sloppy and big but did taste good; definitely not like the Paris ones but didn’t stop us from eating them all. I am planning to take a Pastry and Deserts Course on my next trip to Paris  looking forward to this experience

You can buy macarons from Dean and Deluca in New York but they are not quite the same… BTW I was shocked to find out that my American friends and colleagues have no idea what the macarons are; they all refer to coconut macaroons cookies…phbbbbt! Needless to say I had to bring some gift boxes from my next trip.

My favorite are minies: love to try as many flavors as I can. It’s hard, really hard to pick just one favorite. I always get Framboise, Casis, Caramel. Passion Fruit, Mango though. Licorice maybe the only flavor I can skip.

I love how the macaron boxes look but I am not a box collector. Besides every box screams at me: “Macarons were here and now there NONE, none for you to enjoy.  “. So I will hesitate for about a month and then throw them away.

Always, always check the goodies; even before leaving the store. And always, always buy a couple extra to enjoy immediately on a way out.

Macarons are very-very Paris to me. Love the taste, how they melt in your mouth; love the look, colors – petite desert with an definite attitude

Bugs (in the Mojave) said...

Dearest PB~
I love you in spite of your macaroons.
Being lactose intolerant I can't have them (sigh),
but I do appreciate their visual qualities.

I'm almost afraid to go to France after reading "Julia & Julie" and "My Life in France". Do they make anything without butter. But then, there is always dark chocolate. Yum.

Happy to hear with my "top-knot" after sixty years, I've finally come into style. It is going to my head.

hugs~ Barbara in the Mojave

bevgrey said...

I like the large ones because there is so much goodness there, but with the minis you can have a variety and not feel ill afterward. My favorite is bitter chocolate, but any dark chocolate will do in a pinch. I also like vanilla,lemon, orange. I had some special ones on Free Macaron day last spring that I loved but I can't remember what they were.

I tried making them once, but didn't let the batter sit long enough (I hadn't read this tip yet), so they were a little grainy. My friends at work thought they tasted right,but I wasn't happy with them.

The interesting thing is one of the men is from India and he asked for the recipe because they tasted like a cookie his mother made when he was young.

Nikon said...

Carol, I have never had one! Never even seen one until I found your blog.
Since I love your blog, I love macarons!

Charmingdesigns said...

I tried a pistachio one in San Fransico one time. Delish!

Annie said...

I have only eaten macarons from two places in my life: Pierre Herme and Laduree! When I stayed in Paris this past summer I knew I had to eat my first macarons from these famous places. The Laduree macaron to me was perfect: light, crispy, and so flavorful. The rose petal macaron was heavenly! I have never eaten macarons stateside, but I can imagine that nothing would compare to what I ate in Paris... but I would definitely try them here if I saw some!

Nina L said...

It seems almost sacreligious, but I dislike macarons. I have tried them in Paris, largely because so many love them so much, but I much prefer a pastry, of almost any sort. I find them too sweet.

Stef in very chilly Chicago said...

Are you over-the-top nuts about them the way I am?
Have you tried to make them at home?
Once, they were so - so.
And do you search for them on your home turf, hoping and praying you'll find something close to a Parisien macaron?
Not search, but have tried a few here in Chicago. Nothing compared 2 Pari.
Do you like the big individual size macarons?
Or do you prefer the tiny jewel-like macs..?
Yes, and thanks for the chart! I save it.
A favorite macaron?
Pistache and bitter chocolate
I like the sqiggle line to define the coat sleeve on the fem on the right.

Stef in very chilly Chicago

Wendy said...

Carol, to help you with your research:

Les macarons..oooh.
The best little treat, non?
I love them in the morning
I love them at night
I love them in the afternoon
Oh, alright...ANYTIME

Les macarons, ooh.
The neat little treat, non?
I buy them at Paul's
I eat them on the street
I buy them at the corner store
At home I eat more.

Les macarons, ooh
What a pretty little treat, non?
I love them in citron
I love them in pink
I love vanille the best
But can't resist the rest

Les macarons, ooh!


PS Ooh I can't wait until we go back for April and May!

moni said...

you have won an award for your blog.
You can get it on my blog http://monisminiaturen.blogspot.com

Many hugs moni

Anonymous said...

Hi Carol,
It should be obvious I (we) love macarons because YOU love them! Your blog is such a delight to visit daily. I have had macarons from Pierre Herme and Laduree. PH wins in my book. I (we) would love to hear more about your macaron project. I have some really great macaron pictures from my trip to Paris last December.

Adah R. said...

A. They are delicieuses
B. The tres beau homme who sells them at Laduree
C. The beautiful Laduree bags
D. The Fact that you can eat just one and be so so satisfied and happy
E. Les jolies couleurs
F. The anticipation of going there and discovering a new flavor

Adah R.

La Chris said...

Parce que c'est craquant et un peu dur d'abord, puis tout tendre et fondant
dedans (comme les hommes... les bons).


La Chris

H.Peter said...

We love them because they are gluten free.

Jacqueline said...

I love the texture, the glossy crisp coating before you get to crunch through to the soft, moelleux cake, leading to the cream, so rich and velvety, whatever the flavor.

Jill said...

I haven't had any macarons since 1994 when l was last in Paris. Would give anything to have them again but no one sells them in my town.
Is there anywhere on line you can buy them?
I love the colours of them and seeing them nearly each day makes me want some more but l think if l did l would be holding them for ages just admiring the beautiful shape and glorious colours..
Jill xx

Penelope said...

In Menomonie Wisconsin you do not find a Parisien macaroon - you merely long for them, remembering Paris from afar in your deepest dreams.
As for the boxes, they are my real love, my desire. Since I've owned several stores that sold paper products (stupid name), such boxes feed my eyes and tactile needs. We do have a chocolate store though, that has chocolate cake and candy that will rival Paris chocolate - and therein lies peace (as long as I have to live here).

Loni said...

Bonjour Carol,

I am crazy about Paris Macrons aussi! I discovered them when in France, bien sur. I like the "little jewel" ones myself, because they are awfully sweet, so those big ones, kind of overwhelm me. Once I got them from Paul (the one in Versailles, in the mall) and they were a bit like cardboard--they had obviously been sitting there too long. I like the multi colored packages too. Altho, I prefer the flavors like chocolate and carmel and coffee, rather than fruit flavors. I can buy them here in Portland (Oregon) at a charming place called Papa Hayden (if you're ever in Portland, go to the one on NW 23rd). They make them too big, but they have a salt carmel, which is pretty amazing.
I had my mom bring me back a box once and it was all kind of crushed, but we ate them anyway! They don't really keep long and no, I have never attempted making them. The boulangerie here in Portland doesn't even make them except at Christmas, so I figure it's way beyond me. Have you made them? You could blog the mess it must make!Merci bien for your wonderful blog!


Spike in Yokohama said...

I was amazed at how they appeared everywhere in Paris--inexpensive shops and expensive shops, some colored naturally some not, some unusual flavors--especially at the more expensive places, salty and sweet, all absolutely amazing. I like to try new ones but also have my favorites. I see them here in the French pastry shops here in Japan and want to try them but can never decide which flavors to buy--I want to eat just one but cannot chose only one! A good diet solution I suppose. I always enjoy your photos and drawings. Keep up the good work.
Spike in Yokohama

Mimi said...

they are like little jewels, I can't afford one at Cartiers but at Herme's oui.
I read he makes a wonderful Caramel/lavender macaron

Michele said...

You opened my eyes to Paris macaroons. Somehow I stumbled on your site and joined. I LOVE the colors, the texture of the edges, the delicate smooth top and creamy filling. I want to be a Fat Baker in my next life so I’m dying to try my hand at them. I also have a passion for all things water-colored and your paintings make me want to step into the pictures you paint.

Thank You,


Denise said...

I have never had one. Where in the Detroit Metro area do you think I could find an authentic macaron??
PS, I've been to Paris twice and can't get enough of it. I haven't been there in 4 years and now my friends have moved to Aix, so the next time I go to France, that is where I will be.

Karen said...

So...for those of us who haven't tried a macaroon before...could you
explain the taste of them sometime of your blog?

Liz said...

Oui, bien sur, macarons really remind me of Paris!! Saving every penny to make sure I get back there.
Au revoir,

Susan said...

Big disappointment for you but I am allergic to nuts (all these seem to be made with almond flour) and I am diabetic!
A double whammy.

SYBIL G said...

Glad to hear your interest in macarons again!

My interest in macarons started when I saw a short piece on the Food Network about Pierre Herme in Paris. My husband and I were taking a trip to Paris that month so I took notes and put it on our to do list. When we got to Paris, I didn't know how much I would become obsessed with them! I saw the ginormous macarons close to our hotel, but what really impressed me was when I walked into the PH store on rue Bonaparte and also at a Lenotre near our hotel! I LOVED the colors, the textures and the flavors. I decided to painstakingly take some home as gifts for my family and for myself for later. I saved and brought home the colorful boxes, the beautiful bags, the napkins, the business cards, and the verrine glasses (we even had the glasses engraved with Pierre Herme as per his store's business card). I have them in our curio as a "shrine".

Back home after our trip, I started surfing the net about macarons and learned more about them...that's when I came across Paris breakfast! After that, I learned about the miniature PH from Rement/Mega-house, so of course, I have them too. I have tried looking for local macarons to NO avail :( My sister loved the macaron gift I gave her, so she started looking out for them. There are a few in Southern California, but nowhere close to where I live. This year, my wonderful sister found the big macarons in a little cafe in Pasadena. They are not up to PH or Lenotre standards, but they satisfy my obsession, and they have delicious hot chocolate!

I never had a chance to try the other Parisian patisseries (like Laduree), but I learned a lot from your blog so I know where to start my research when we go back to Paris. I was less than a Macaron novice when we went to Paris last year...actually, it was just chance I came across those PH macarons on TV. But now, I feel I have ample info to go deeper into macaron territory in Paris and I can't wait!
Thank you, Carol.
You are my Macaron Master!

Daniel and Priscilla said...

WOW all this fuss..
I have never had a macaron....omg
We have been in Paris 5 times over the last few years and didn't try them...why...who knows...but fer sher..we will try on our April/May trip next year...
I Love your posts...
great work....

nancy in savannah said...

Actually have never had a Paris macaron! Not available in my small southern town, but will try next trip to NY or Paris. There is a locally famous cookie called a Chocolate Chewie which has the same basic dough: egg whites and powdered sugar. I'm quite successful with them, both baking and eating.
nancy in savannah

Sharron in PA said...

I love Paris and I love macaroons but I have never appreciated the ones in Paris. I guess they just too artifical to be that tempting. I will indulge the next time i go. You have convinced me that I have truly missed a luxury.
Thanks and enjoy!
Sharron in PA

Susan said...

Ahhh so much to say...so little time.

Well-I love Laduree macaroons. The SMALL ones only. I LOVE trying out the different flavours because one is always surprised.

Yes, I keep the boxes. When I travel I have a Laduree box on display to add refinement to any place I lay my head. My box celebrates Fragonard and contains rings and small pieces of jewelry.

I try and contain myself and wait til I get home so I can almost do a "tea ceremony" kind of ritual to savour the gorgeousness. If I'm tempted to woof them down immediately I feel I lose out on both counts - pleasure but also one eats macaroons for the elegance and refinement-not to stave off hunger pangs...so you stay hungry!

I love the Laduree green bags and once kept one as an 'object d'art" on display because of the way the light filters through it.

I always take note when I see a macaroon but I'm not often tempted because usually I'm disappointed but you have savoured the art from many famous macaroon patissiers. No, I would not dream of making them at home but I might assemble a macaroon ice cream dessert..

Hope that helps....I'm Paris bound next month. It's been 20 months since I left which means it's been 20 months since I have followed your blog!
You have helped keep Paris in my thoughts!
I can hardly contain myself with excitement.


Foodwalker said...

Must have the red pokadot big bag!!!!
And fill that with macs, svp.
The mac boxes actually intrigue me more than the macs - it's that sugar thing I like to avoid.

Unknown said...

Dear PB,

I cannot believe the amount of comments/replies you received! Looks like we all like macarons
BTW when you complete your macarons project may I suggest pate de fruit for a next research =)

I discovered your blog just about a week ago and want to say thank you.

Katy said...

i could care less about macorons, but the colors are lovely...

Naomi said...

I use my mint-green Laduree bag as storage for all my assorted USB cables, and one of their pink macaroon boxes is on my dresser as a bracelet case :)

Chirstina said...

I Love and miss Paris Macarons so much, although I first found them in Japan. I love the colours and just die that I cant try all those crazy Pierre Herme new flavours. Living in Australia the search for decent ones here is in vain. Paul had to learn to make them instead, they are the next big thing here oddly enough, but people are going to think they are just pretty as the taste and quality here is rubbish. Ive seen them sell for four dollars a piece what would go in the bin in a real patisserie. People insist on calling them macaroons here too, as though to call them macarons is a useless affectation, not a vital difference between the two items, sorry, but that drives me crazy! I think Laduree ones are great, all those colours and flavours available beautifully fresh every day, Pierre is great for his innovation and for taste I like Sadaharu Aoki, he also does chocolate dipped ones that are to utterly die for. Ive got Paul working on trying to make those too. For the home cook a great discovery is that they freeze perfectly, even a little better perhaps than before they were frozen?

Norma said...

ENOUGH MACARONS! Been to Paris a dozen times...my favorite city in the world...but enough macarons!
how about baguettes, brioche, exquisite cheese, the lights, the bridges, the beautiful women of every age.
enough macarons!

The Daily Connoisseur said...

J'adore macarons. I get them from Caffe Luxe in Santa Monica. They are ridiculously expensive here ($1.50 for one). I love the vanilla kind. Will never attempt to make them myself- that could go horribly wrong.

alison said...

I've lived in France for 18months and have not yet tried a macaroon -although I think there is actually a macaroon factory not far from here! Im off to Paris in November so I think I will have a dedicated macaroon sampling session....I will let you know my verdict!

Jill said...

I have never been to Paris, but if I make it over there I'm heading straight to Laduree! There's only one place to find a macaron in Sacramento and they're very overpriced (and teeny tiny) there. I love the wonderful deep colors of the macarons in your photos. I never tire of looking at them!

Anonymous said...

I have never had one.
Never been to Paris either...only through film and blogs such as your lovely one!
But I would LIKE to try macarons, make mine mini's please, that way I can try more of those delicious colours :)
Oh, and any frequent flyer miles you could send my way to put towards a plane ticket to said haven for macarons would also be divine...I'll apply for my passport today!!

jeanette mistress of longears said...

You have struck a nerve! If you ever manage to get to the bottom of the list, here are my pensees:
It's something to do with the deceptively simple shape, the phenomenal colors (why that should work for me when they are clearly artificial - and I'm dedicated to all things natural and organic!) and of course the difficulty of obtaining them figures in, and the big ones are just gross! Except for Isphahan....Small is better! And I think the name figures in...so close to macaroon but so clearly NOT macaroons...as to flavors, I must first try them all; then I will stick with the same 3 forever. Thank you for taking me away from the flu for a few minutes.

Kathleen said...

Like you, I am a macaron fanatic!! My favorite ones are from Pierre Herme, with Laduree being a close second. I always bring macarons home with me from Paris, I freeze them, and then I occasionally enjoy a Paris "fix"!!! I have tried other macarons in CA, but they don't even come close to the ones in Paris! I will be going back to Paris at the end of this month. One of my first stops--Pierre Herme. I can never get enough macarons--and my favorite ones are chocolate!! I like other French chocolate, too--such as the chocolate from Bernachon, chocolate mousse--but macarons are always at the top of the list!!

Allison said...

I am obsessed with them! I do make them at home. My blog cupcakesfrancias.blogspot.com covers my experiences with making them. (I know I spelled francais wrong in my URL -- so embarassing!) In Paris, one night we sat in our hotel room and ate macarons and drank wine instead of going out for dinner. They are pretty much my favorite things ever.

Stephanie said...

Your macaron project appears to be genius in the making :)

Pamela said...

Dear Paris-breakfasts,

My husband and I visited Paris for the first time in April of this year! What a wonderful experience it was! Our hotel was only a couple blocks from Laduree on the Champs E'lysee and I visited it quite often for the wonderful deserts. I would have waited endlessly for their delicious pastries... Finally, on our last day in Paris, I bought a box of their mini macaroons as a gift for my daughter. She absolutely loved them! I have kept all the beautiful boxes from Laduree as they are too pretty to toss. I can't wait to return someday, hopefully soon!


Linda said...

I wouldn't hesitate to fish a macaron box out of the Parisien trash anyda1y!
Bonne idee

Jeannie said...

oh, my...now I have to admit that I've never had a macaron! I just like your blog.

gix2lee said...

Oh, the deliciousness of Parisian Macarons...what wonderful memories they bring when I see them on your blog. Will you be painting more Macarons as well for our eyes to enjoy?

Judi said...

Hi Carol

I love receiving your newsletter and am studying it quite seriously. I am off to Paris next week 22nd Oct - can't believe it really, my first time. Flying from Sydney to CDG is twenty something hours. I now feel compelled to do an in depth study of the macaron while there. Just for you of course. And I will report back

Thanks again


Anonymous said...

What a lovely shout-out to the magnificent macaron! I really liked reading people's reasons for loving them, too. Me? Because they are one thing in a pâtisseriethat is gluten, dairy, and yeast FREE and I can eat them. Yay! :D

Plus, they are just so goshdarn pretty. Like doll food or something! :)

Anonymous said...

Sarah--to make your macs smoother--you must sift the almond flour really well thru a very fine seive. Also try giving the batter one or two more folds. Then once you've piped them onto the cookie sheets, rap the pans hard on the counter to help flatten them and release bubbles. If they are still pointy on top, you can lightly smooth the tips with a dampened finger. If it continues to be a problem, you're probably using just a bit too much almond flour.

Bugs--You shouldn't have any problems if you avoid cream fillings. Try the fruit flavors--those fillings tend to be just fruit and sugar like preserves. The shells have no milk or butter at all, only ground almonds, sugar and egg whites.

Jill Riter said...

loved the last picture here, and the illustrations... fun post!

Su-Lin said...

I adore macarons so much that I had a pyramid of them (Laduree) at our wedding rather than a wedding cake! I like the little ones mainly so you can have many flavours in one sitting. And I also took a class to learn how to make them though they didn't turn out as light as Pierre Herme's exquisite specimens!

Brenda said...

I love macarons, especially french macarons. The macarons at Laduree are by far my favourite. I prefer the small size to the large. There is a little shop on Rue St Dominique that has large macarons but I never had the chance to go in. I don't believe I had a bad macaron whilst in Paris. Le Jules Verne had wonderful macarons as well!
A little boulangerie in St Louis, La Bonne Bouchee, has good macarons as well. My daughter loves them! I hope to take her to Paris when she is older so she can experience french macarons.

With that being said, I have tried to bake them myself without luck. Although they were tasty, the turned out flat and cracked.

Fifi Flowers said...

Here is the saddest story EVER... LOL... when I was in Paris... I did not know what a Paris macaron was... I never found out about Paris macarons until I started blogging a year and half ago... le sigh! I have only had a Paris macaron imitation in Beverly Hills. My goal is to get back to Paris and have a REAL one!!! Your photos make moi want to hop on a plane NOW!!!

Carol T. said...

I think there is nothing more quintessentially Parisian than that gorgeous pistachio wrapping from LaDuree, be it box or bag....un reve!!!

Sophia said...

You already know that Laduree is my fave—I’ve tried the rest but theirs are the best!!! I always bring some home with me but end up eating them on the plane. And I pretty much stick to my faves: caramel, praline, framboise, pistache.


The Good Life in Virginia said...

i love the plethora of colors that they come in and perhaps my favs would be the ginger and cherry ones. i have yet to make them but, have a receipe in hand...just have to pull out the mixer and get cracking...one day soon.

Bryan from Hong Kong said...

Dear Paris Breakfast,

I got carried away by the massive lovely pictures of Macarons in my inbox.

I must say I love Macarons because they are really sweet and delicious, I have a sweet tooth, that's part of the reason. But there are so many flavors and options so its so hard to choose the ones I like most, they are quite addictive too. I think color and sweetness appeals to everyone and keeps them asking for more.

I think the ones in Paris taste the best, and they have all of the best patisserie such as Pierre Hermé. I always look around online to see what other patisserie are there, but the only one they have in Hong Kong are Jean Paul Hevin and LGB. They taste alright, but its not the same as the ones from Paris.

YES I do keep my boxes for other uses, they are simply too beautiful to throw away even the bags you get from buying them!

Bryan from Hong Kong

PS. I love what you do, please keep the pictures of macarons coming!


I love every thing about them - the color, the shape, the texture but most of all the taste! I have my favorite flavors but I always have to try something different too. Laduree is the mark by which I measure all macarons and recently on St. Armands Circle in Florida i came across le macaron-pretty close! http://lemacaron-us.com/

Barbara M. said...

I do hesitate to say this, but I have never tasted a Parisian macaron! Nor have I been to Laduree! and I decided not to wait in the line at Hermes! I discovered your blog just weeks before my last trip to Paris (Jan 09), and didn't know these important things about Paris.
I can tell you, for sure, I will sample Macarons (probably framboise and citron, by flavor, and great colors for my other choices) and hunt down Laduree on my next trip. I will probably have hot chocolate at Les Deux Maggots instead of express, as well, just to give it a try.

I haven't seen Macaron's in our Bethlehem bake shops, but did mention them to a "nephew-in-law" who studied at CIA, cheffed at SanFrancisco Hilton and now runs "The Sweet Life Bakery" in Vineland NJ. with my niece (also a CIA grad). He assured me he made them when he was in SF.

My life obviously has a few sweet gaps to fill, which I will work on, bien sur.
Thanks for a great blog...

365 Dresses said...

Salut, Carol!

I love the macarons mostly because of the colors---most of them are just too sweet for me. But one, once in a while, is marvelous. However, I'd kill for a warm baguette Monge from Keyser.

And we'll be in Paris the entire month of December for the holidays.

Linda said...

I first fell in love with macarons on my first and only(so far) trip to Paris in 2004.
The colors were so appealing and the flavors so interesting. While having tea and pastries at Laduree, my husband and I watched the long line of patrons waiting to buy macarons. We, of course,took some back to Portland.
It was like opening a box of 'Paris' right in our dining room. I kept the box for a few years but alas,in one of our many moves it disappeared!
Quelle nightmare!
I am a watercolorist also and immediately came home from Paris and did a pastry series which was exhibited in a local gallery.The macarons sold instantly and to my friends in NYC! I later discovered your site and lovely paintings.I enjoy it and live vicariously through your trips to Paris.
Our local macarons never measure up but I've had wonderful ones from "Macaron" in NYC,near Macy's.
I have a new cookbook from our local bakery,Grand Central Baking, containing a recipe for raspberry macarons. I may give it a try!

Paris said...

Hi, It's my pleasure to join this survey. I have been going to Paris since 1989 but didn't really try macarons until 2006. I thought they were like merengue so I really didn't pay them any attention. My first macarons were from Dalloyau and I got addicted. I've tried Laduree and Pierre Herme but I actually prefer Dalloyau.

I dont bake so there is no way I can make these at home. I live and L.A. and there are a couple of places that sell them here but still not the same as thoe in Paris. My favorite flavors are pistachio and chocolate. Although when I took my first box home I went for the pretty pastel colors. And yes I do collect the Laduree boxes. I was at Laduree next to a couple who just left an empty box on the table, I grabbed it after they left but not after I got a weird look from the waiter.

Last time I was in Paris I even bought the totes and the bulldog notebook. Love your blog!

Lucia said...

Ohhhhh! What a lovely feast for the eyes!! Luscious colors! No wonder you lust after the containers...any scents clinging to them?
I cannot find anything close here in Northern Michigan. Thank you for bringing them to me.

Tatiana said...

Hi Carol, if you visit the restaurant of Le Meurice Hôtel in Paris, you'll be able to get a nice "macaron USB"
I read it in "Cuisine & Vins de France", here is the information:
"À croquer. Clé USB imaginée par Yannick Alleno, livrée avec la recette du délicieux macaron detox servi au restaurant, 70 euros"
I hope you'll enjoy it!
Regards from Spain,

Tatiana said...

Carol, I was wrong when writing "Cuisine & Vins de France", I wanted to write "Cuisine Gourmande"

Robyn said...

I will eat a Paris macaron on a plane, on a train, anywhere! I only purchase them in Paris, my favorite place Laudree (I know I spelled it wrong -LOL).
I buy boxes and boxes and I keep the boxes as additional directions in my kitchen.
AND I have to keep the bags.
My 2nd place is Pierre Herme.
I wish I had one, and can't wait to return to Paris in January

Please keep sending the macaron pics!!!

michelle said...

Oh, yes, I have tried making them at home, with Pierre Hermé's cookbook, and I haven't been able to make them work yet!

But I am in Paris now, so I don't have to make my own...

Michelle said...

Oh my, I finally made it to Paris last month. Ahhhhh, it was with great ceremony that I tried my first one at Laduree! I even have a picture of me eating my first bite! It was divine! My husband liked them as well....he described them as "candy-cookies". I think the appeal was of course in the FABULOUS taste. But, also they just look fun to eat. Plus, all of the photos I have seen on this site, I must say I COULD NOT wait to try one. They did not disappoint! I crave them now! *sigh* I made it back from Paris with a whole box for my kids.....TRUE LOVE!

Crispy Bits said...

Here's a guy piping in with my love for macarons. I've only been to Paris twice, with my second trip a solo one purely for exploring the patisserie scene. I was in heaven. Couldn't get enough of the macarons. Laduree and Pierre Hermé were my second homes. Favourite flavours: Caramel/fleur de sel and olive oil/vanilla. Perfection.
They are virtually impossible to find here in Toronto. I finally resorted to making some but couldn't find almond flour...only the coarser almond meal...so they were a little lumpy. I tried pomegranate but it wasn't that successful with the buttercream. Maybe I'll go classic next time. But they had the requisite foot and were crunchy/chewy.
Oh, and when a friend went on a business trip to Paris, I made him buy me a Laduree shopping tote. I love it but of course can never be seen toting in public so I use it to take my recyclables down the hall to the garbage chute in my condo. Charming indeed.

Paul D. said...

Dear Miss Gillott--- Yes, I do enjoy the Macarons of Paris, thay are truly very good! BUT,the Macarons that I make are equally as good.
And yes I do eat then when in the streets of Paris, also the packageing is far nicer then any here in the states.

Di Overton said...

A bit late to the party but it's the colours that do it for me.

K said...

Oh, joy! I casn be the 100th comment, if I get this written quickly enough . . . Let's see, I'm not as big a fan as you, Carol, since I just don't have the oportunities you do! I haven't been to Paris since, let's see, it was 1992, I think . . . Too long!! I like to sample all flavours, but I haven't had enough, nor recently enough, to have a favourite . . . nor do I have a favourite place to get them (I don't have ANY place to get them!). As for making them at home--sounds like a good idea, but far too daunting . . .
Thanks for asking, though! :))

Busy York said...

If I only were in your shoes I would be better able to give an educated opinion!

Linda R. said...

The macarons seem so interesting. Some of the colors are so intense!
Are the flavors, also?
You are around expensive-looking, lovely stores.
Are all macarons found only in them?

Unknown said...

I have been going ton Ladree since I was 4 yrs old almost 60 yrs. Use to go with my aunt when they only had the one near the place de la concorde. It's always one of our first stop in Paris. Now they have a kiosk in Charles de Gaulle. So you can start eating whIle you wait for your bags

ICS Cyber Security said...

Yes, macarons say "Paris" to me! I buy them on every trip to eat along the way, and always bring some home as gifts. I prefer the mini's--the big ones taste good, but invaribly have a different texture. I've learned how to make them at home, and though they're tricky, I've had good results. I seem to always buy the same flavors too--caramel au burre sale, pistachio, and chocolate ALWAYS, and the occasional framboise, citron, fraise, orange, etc. At home I've made apricot and rose too. Love 'em! :)

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