Saturday, 15 January 2011
Normally not my dessert of choice, I am officially a convert to the macaroon (macaron in French) lovers club, thanks to Pierre Hermé in Paris.
As I was preparing to leave for Paris a few years back, I was on an information gathering expedition, asking anyone and everyone for must-see suggestions for my upcoming adventure. Of course, I consulted the Lonely Planet Guide as well, my handy-dandy travel bible. Both avenues ended at Pierre Hermé.
Okay, I thought I'd give it a chance. And when I did there was no turning back. Over the six week period that I stayed in the enchanting city, I visited...let's just say more than once.
From the lines stretching out the door and around the corner of the small shop, to the eye widening selection of macaroons and other wonderful pastries that begged to be brought home in a oh-so-very-European tied box, everything bespoke the glory that awaited my taste buds.
Of course we had to try a selection, but our budget was tight and the prices ranged from 2-3 euros per piece! We were not yet believers, so our choices erred on the side of caution. One of each, take a bite and pass it on. Subsequent visits saw us gravitating toward our favorites.
My favorite, an unlikely flavor even for me, was the olive oil and vanilla macaroon! Even more surprising was the treat, placed smack in the middle of the vanilla filling - a green olive slice!
I don't eat green olives! But somehow the combination was magical - a winner in my book. So, I pass on my newly (but very happily) acquired taste for Parisian macaroons à la Pierre Hermé!
Visit him online at http://www.pierreherme.com or in person at 72 Rue Bonaparte in the heart of Saint Germaine de Près, Paris or in Tokyo or London.
Can't wait for you to become a convert too! Any other interesting flavors of macaroons you love?