What could be more Parisian than macarons? It’s the iconic item that everyone acknowledges as the national French dessert. The quality of macarons depend on the pastry chef’s skills, and can either be the best thing on earth or shockingly terrible. When done correctly, macarons are exquisite. It’s dainty, flavourful, and extremely light. However, these things are notoriously hard to perfect. The high costs of ingredients plus the dexterity of the process is what contributes to its ultra-pricey nature. Even for a pro, macarons are beyond temperamental in nature. As a beginner, you will experience a lot of trial and error (and possibly fail) before they resemble something you see in the window case of a pâtisserie. I’ve always been intrigued as to how to make them, and I’ve enlisted Le Foodist cooking school to help crack down the process.
Naturally, one can’t come to Paris and not try macarons, especially if you’re a dessert fiend like me. Maracons are easily accessible in almost every corner of Paris from everyday cafes to speciality stores. Two of the most well-known brands specialising in macarons are Ladurée and Pierre Hermé. Both have a strong fanbase but I’m curious to see if there is a substantial difference between the two.
Having landed my first day in Paris, I didn’t want to stroll too far to get my macaron fix and conveniently enough, there was a Ladurée store within a reasonable walking distance. Ladurée is very classically decorated with pastel colours and gives the impression of the quintessential Parisian pâtisserie. The line up wasn’t too bad as I only waited 15 minutes. During that duration, I picked up a small pamphlet to decide which flavours I wanted. The flavour options were the traditional vanilla, chocolate, etc and the macarons tended to sport one flavour, maximum two. I ended up choosing the pistachio and salted caramel macarons.