I Looooovve dark chocolate. I don’t need much, just a tiny square of high-quality dark chocolate at the end of a good meal, in the middle of the day with a cup of espresso, with a friend- you get the picture. So, it’s a bit of a big deal when I say that for two weeks I didn’t even think about chocolate. Not even once. Why? you might ask… What could possibly do that- especially in a country well known for fine chocolate, and in a city where chocolate shops are prevalent in every neighborhood?
I fell in love with Macarons.
Elegant little boutiques with mouth watering window displays; and inside, rows of beautiful, pastel-colored (think Easter eggs), soft pillows of flavor. Somebody cue the harps!
Macarons are naturally gluten-free, made with almond flour and meringue, and filled with beautiful creamy fillings. They’re tiny too, and just sweet enough that one or two are just perfect with….well anything. We made it our mission to try as many different macarons as possible on this trip- in order to determine for ourselves who makes the best Macarons in Paris. And, towards the end of our stay, when the long days of walking started to catch up with two little girls, I confess that I shamelessly bribed them to walk ‘just a bit further’ with the promise that we would stop and enjoy some of the beautiful macarons we had just purchased. OK- I was bribing myself too! Macarons are as delicious and lovely at 10am, as they are at 11pm. We couldn’t get enough. And while I have not yet attempted to make these at home, they are going on my list. Maybe instead of dying Easter eggs this year, we’ll make oodles of Macarons!
Our top 3 pics in Paris
- Pierre Hermè- they get top points for flavor creativity and texture, but be warned- you do pay for this. They are about twice as expensive as the other top pics- especially if you purchase the pretty box. (I bought two!) Our favorite flavor was Olive oil and Mandarin Orange. I think I’m going to have to invent a Pierre Hermè salad with those flavors! The kitchen divas in training also gave Pierre Hermè points for the sparkle-y macarons with flavors like White Truffle with Hazlenut, and Creme Brulèe. Really, when isn’t it about the sparkle for little girls?
- Ladurée- excellent texture and a good flavor selection
- Stohrer- a great macaron, doubly good because they were steps from our apartment- really- about 19 steps! And, they have the added distinction of being the oldest patisserie in Paris- founded in 1730. In addition to selling the regular ‘petite’ macarons, they also offered large macaron ‘cakes’ for La Noël. We ordered one called Le Rosier, literally translated as ‘the rose’. It was a rose-flavored macaron with rose petal creme, and fresh raspberries. Can you say heavenly?? Who needs a buche when you can enjoy a beautiful macaron cake?
There were many other macarons we tried- we tried as many as possible, and enjoyed them all. I don’t think you can go wrong with a macaron in Paris.