Thursday, May 27, 2010

How Much Is That Macaron?

Box O' Macarons, 9" x 11"

Another obsession is the porte-etiquette - the little price signs you'll see on glass counters and scattered in windows of Parisien patisseries.

You can dream all you want about Paris, but it's nice to know what things cost.

 I always include them in the shot? Price tags are ever present. Parisiens like to know how much things costs just as much as we do. The price list is always front and center in a boulangerie. It's the law. Unlike some upscale US pastry joints who insist you ask, "How much?" Based on the premise if you have to ask, you can't afford it. The French are not so snobby.

These little sign posts tell you it's OK to waltz in and actually buy something. The same does not necessarily apply to Cartier or Hermes.
Some signs give you much more information than just the price. Ingredients in detail. 
Name cards of gateaux can be quite poetic, or not. Dalloyau calls this cake "Mogador". Is it really a reference to Essaouira Bay in Morocco? It remains a mystery. Do you know the answer?
I'd rather shop for macarons in Paris than shoes. Trying to deceifer hand-written signs is part of the fun is it not?

I'd rather read pastry signs than a book. So much food for thought.
Fauchon boxes decide the price. Fauchon wins many a round when it come to creativitie so they get away with a lot. Here the box decides le prix.
Gerard Mulot is using 'new math' with these vertical macarons sold by the meter no less. Get out your rulers.
In addition (no pun intended) Mulot tells us upfront in the window the price for his towering cones of macarons. Try not to fall out of your chair gasping for air.This macaron tower is reasonable, though I didn't buy it. No time. You must pre-order this charmer 48 hrs ahead. All for a mere 41 Euros. It won't feed a ballroom full of hungry wedding guests.



  1. What a wonderful, wonderful pics!!!

  2. Misha in Paris4:51 AM

    macarons éternels !!!!!!!!!!
    A +++++

  3. Yes it's the law in France to post prices. However, on avenue you will see that none of the great jewelers post their price in their windows, they have some kind of derogation.

  4. 'some kind of derogation'
    That's a first for me...
    But it does seem like a Frenchie kind of thing.
    Some ppl. (Hermes, Cartier) do not have to follow the rules.

  5. Anonymous5:17 AM

    Hi Carol
    I'm completely overwhelmed!! Plc help! I'm trying to plan a 3 day trip to paris in June. Love food & love shopping for vintage clothing & decor! Been to Paris 8 yrs ago and saw all touristy things, don't want to see them again. please give me advise....
    Regards, Annalien
    PS (Laduree M are making my mouth water already!)

  6. ANNALIEN - you might want to read Dorie Greenspan's post on 25 Romantic Things to do in Paris

    Tons of ideas there!

  7. Iiieeeee. Those prices! Pas moins cher!

  8. Such delicious pictures. I want macarons please!

  9. I L O V E your painting!
    I'd want it to be mine.
    Why oh why is school so expensive?

    The rest of the post is marvelous, a fun tour of Paris, with or without sticker shock. ;-)

    Had to giggle when I spotted "Duchesse Passion" - as we all know by now, Duchesses are quite expensive, starting at 500,000 British Pounds. And up ..... ;-)

  10. Such an eye for detail Ms. MERISI!
    I missed the Duchess passion...
    Just move the euro sign over one and there you have it!

  11. I took a class on how to make macarons this week and the chef made them so small! They always look bigger in the pictures. Can you tell me what the popular size for a macaron is in France? Merci!

  12. Miam miam!
    Oh Carol, I love those price signs so much that I snatched up a few old boucherie price tags at a flea market. Then when we moved home, I sold them at an antique booth I used to have. WHY IN HEAVEN'S NAME DID I DO THAT? Now I want my signs back. Boo hoo.

  13. Shlurp. Oh excuse me, Carol, that's my espresso talking. It's early, & so of course I come here first.

    I see someone answered your question about zee law about merchandise. Ah oui. (And the ever-French exception pour ozzairs...)

    Yep, pretty sure that Mogadar cake is named "for" now-Essaouira...the French named a lot of stuff after places where they, um, had adventures. I'll leave it at that.

    And Merisi always sees the best, teensy-weensy detail. Excellent eye.

    ciao & bonjour from GG

    PS: I hope Anonymous has a great time in Paris. I remember a pretty good article from the Frugal Traveller last summer (?) in NYTimes.

  14. Re:MOGADOR
    According to le Maitre Pierre Hermé:
    "biscuit macaron au chocolat, ganache au chocolat au lait
    et fruit de la passion,
    ananas rôti
    et chantilly au chocolat au lait
    et fruit de la passion"

    so I guess all this stuff comes from an island in the Essaouira Bay.?

    PANDORA-Small is the correct size for a Frenhc macaron.
    They MUST be SMALL!

  15. I am in Paris right now and just had my first macaron ever. I am in love! Does anyone know a=how many calories are in 1 mini macaron? Thanks!

  16. Anonymous8:15 AM

    oh, I love your blog! wonderfull pictures!!! :D

  17. Anonymous9:35 AM

    Celeste Mogador was a 19th century French courtesan...I've always assumed the pastries and macaron flavor were named after her, but there may be other references.

  18. Wonderful!
    I love Ladurée macarons!
    And, I love your Paris breakfasts!!

    Je vous remercie pour votre visite ainsi que pour votre adorable commentaire! Bien sûr, je suis une adepte de la griffe Sonia Rykiel, mais je n'habite pas la capitale, alors...

    Vous êtes toujours la bienvenue pour un petit thé au jasmin. De mon côté, je reviendrai pour quelques macarons!!

    Très amicalement,

  19. I want one of those whole cakes. And I want it now. With a big cup of cafe creme. And a fork.

  20. I can totally appreciate this post...I want to see the prices too. Now I have to figure out how I'll make it through the rest of the day with tempting sweet images in my head.

  21. Such lovely pictures. I adore macarons - I still remember when I brought a box at Laduree for my husband. I wasn't sure whether he would like them or not. They are now his favorite sweet of all time. Just wait until I tell him there's a shop that sells them by the metre - that might be just thing to inspire him to take a trip to Paris!

  22. There's another handy reason why they put prices in the windows... god forbid Les Frenchies have to ask/talk about money!

    The question about how many calories are in a wee macaron reminded me, too, how certain places in the states are required to post calories.

    Price or calories: which is more depressing??

  23. I'd like to have one of each :)

  24. Hope one day I will share one big "pyramide" of macarons with all my friend for a big celebration!!!!!!

  25. Carol, I love reading your Blog every day on my iPhone (when I am supposed to be working!!). It brightens my day. I came to your paintings via Flickr some time ago and am a big, big fan. When I have my little house nicely decorated I intend t purchase a lovely pic all for me!! Bisous. Amy xx

  26. AMAZING!
    I love the PB LOOK!
    You are a star of the blog.

    Bisous bisous

  27. Love the new banner.

  28. I love those price tags which contains the ingredients as well...I always love these kind of detailing...

    Your new header is absolutely magnificent! Love it!

    Hope your London trip was fun!

    Many thanks for the lovely birthday message dear Carol. Means a lot...

    Cheers: Evi

  29. Thanks for sharing this gorgeous post... I loved it, and stared into each window! I love that the price is so well displayed...
    Did you do the watercolours? WOW! Must show them to my daughter as she's taken art as an elective this year!

  30. Carol, Love the new banner--how gorgeous! Really beautiful.

  31. Eric N.9:36 PM

    As a native Californian and a UCDavis graduate, your cake watercolors remind me of my favorite artist - Wayne Thiebaud. (Thiebaud taught at UCDavis for many years.)
    Your work rivals his. Congratulations.

    What does the bear think of Wayne Thiebaud?

  32. Well you are certainly right about the price of those macaron that I am back in my chair, I must ask: Do people take the macs off the tower and eat them? Does the frosting that sticks them onto the tower make the mac break if you pull it off? Is the frosting as good as the fillings? Just what does hold the macs on the tower?

  33. Trust me, you do not want me near a tower of macarons!

  34. Chère..j'aime tes photos!
    Tu es fantastique!!
    mais manges - tu tous ces macarons?

  35. Michael in Maine5:59 AM

    Et merci beaucoup for your delightful "Paris Breakfast" newsletter. It's a bright spot in my morning email routine.

    I'm wondering if you'd care to offer some advice for one about to travel en France (The Dordogne) et a Paris this summer. You feature Laduree and Fauchon a lot, but would you care to divulge your personal favorite spot in Paris for obtaining the "worlds best" macaron? I don't care where it is. We're staying in the 5th and are quite able to go anywhere by Metro.

    I must confess, I don't think I've ever had a macoron, and after seeing your lovely presentations over the past few months, no trip to Paris would be complete without partaking of one. But only one, since I must remain able to fit into my clothes!

    Thanks again for your newsletter and the "day dream potential" it provides me.

    With regards,



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