Yuck or Yum: French Macaroons

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I did not like macaroons the first time I visited Paris.

I repeat.

I did not like macaroons the first time I visited Paris.

I was not interested in the strange multi-colored wafers and questionable filling of this French delicacy. In true French fashion, I turned up my nose and looked away (all I needed was a cigarette…). I focused on croissants and crepes instead of the immaculate macaroon window displays scattered throughout the city.

In 2013, everything changed during my regular evening shift at theWit hotel in Chicago. The restaurant was packed and I hadn’t stopped working since I walked into the door that afternoon.

I was exhausted, dehydrated, and hungry but everything from the employee dining room was gone except for a few French macaroons on the counter. I had no other choice but to explore the mystery of the macaroon.

I bit into the small circular cake that was smooth and crisp on the outside, soft and gooey in the middle. I had sensory overload – I actually felt like Chef Remy the Rat in Ratatouille, when he bites into the cheese and strawberries:

For me, the light crunch of the macaroon mixed with the sweet ganache filling was amazing. That moment changed everything.

French Macaroons – Yuck or Yum?

YUM

To make up for my first visit to Paris, I started my “Macaroon Fund”. That’s right – I set aside money to dedicate solely to macaroons and I have done a great job spending it. These are my two favorites in the city this far:

  1. Ladurée – despite it coming up second on most travel blogs, this 1862  pâtisserie is first on my list. These crispy shells are paired perfectly with a little-less-than-normal filling, making a lighter and refreshing treat. Even more, the classic French interior of the pâtisserie creates an atmosphere that makes the macaroons taste that much better.
  1. Pierre Hermé – the signature fat filling of this popular macaroon is incredible. After each bite, my mouth waters for more of the rich flavor and dense shell. I stick with normal, classic flavors such as framboise, rose and chocolat despite the adventurous selections such as pistachio, noisette and caramel banane that they offer.

Pickin’ your Brain:

  • Have you ever tried something you thought you didn’t like and it turned out to be the best thing you ever tasted? Tell me about it!
  • Where do you get your favorite macaroons?

 

Video Reference: Harper, G. [nathanswatch]. (2015, September 29). Ratatouille – Remy experiencing food as colour, shape and sou. [Video file]. Retrieved from https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VXoJjgxMj9M

2 thoughts on “Yuck or Yum: French Macaroons

  1. What were your favorite flavors? Were there any you tried and didn’t like? Are their flavors you wish you would have tried? How exciting! I’m not much of a macaroon lover but now you’ve got me wanting to try them, again! I hope you’re loving Paris!

  2. Hi Sarah!

    My favorites are framboise (raspberry) and rose. My mom guilted me into trying new flavors, some of which I liked (lemon and vanilla) and others that I didn’t… celeste (passion fruit, rhubarb & strawberries), guile d’olive a la mandarine (olive oil with mandarin orange) and pistache.

    It took me a while to like macaroons too but now that I do, I can’t get enough of them! Thanks for commenting 🙂

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