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macarons are sold in most bakeries throughout Paris and even at
McDonalds, you need to dig a little deeper for the authentic gems. The
following shops sell the best macarons Paris has to offer.
1. Laduree- Laduree
is the original creator of macarons. It is safe to say that this shop
is the most renowned sweet shop in Paris, and possibly in the world. The
macarons range from classic flavors such as chocolate, vanilla, and
salted caramel to rose, orange blossom, and even licorice. The outer
cookie layers are crunchy, giving a strong meringue taste that contrasts
perfectly with the silky filling. The layer of filling is flavorful but
light and more jam-like than buttery. These melt seamlessly on your
tongue, as though you just consumed a sugar-spun cloud.
Not to Miss: Tea time offers the full Laduree experience. The décor of the shops and attached tea salon are reminiscent of Coppola's Marie Antoinette and you will truly feel like a royal when served dainty and intricate pastries on beautiful ceramics. Also, the arrangement of the macarons is a sight to see, even for those who do not necessarily like the taste.
2. Pierre Herme- Pierre
Herme macarons are good enough to rival Laduree's. These macarons are a
personal favorite. The ganache is thick and smooth, while the outer
meringue is soft almost like a cake rather than a cookie. The filling is
rich but not heavy, retaining the trademark macaron airiness leaving
you craving another. Pierre Herme was also the first to create
interesting flavor combinations that sound unappealing but mix
flawlessly like strawberry wasabi, chocolate foie gras, and asparagus
Not to miss: This genius patisseur started "le jour du macaron" - the day of macarons- which falls every year on March 20th. Pierre Herme shops and other select patisseries give out free macarons and ask for donations in order to raise money and awareness for the charity Federation des Maladies Orphelines. Visit www.jourdumacaron.com for more information.
3. Pain de Sucre- This
bakery is renowned for its creative and tasty pastries. The macarons
are just as unconventional. The flavors are unique and incorporate
interesting ingredients such as Morello cherry with pistachio. They also
sell savory macarons. An interesting combination is the angelica root
and goat cheese macaron. Be prepared to wait as there is always a line
that spills out on to the streets and the store is often closed.
Not to miss: Long macarons called Krac Krac that come in various flavors.
(One store located in the hip Marais area, right next to the Centre Pompidou)
4. Gérard Mulot- Gérard
Mulot makes all the traditional flavors such as chocolate and raspberry
but also offers seasonal specials such as Chestnut or Cassis in the
winter and fall, and cherry, banana and mint for the spring and summer
months. The macarons are crunchier and sweeter than the average macaron
and will truly satisfy any one with a sweet tooth. Another unique
element is that the outside shell is chubby and unlike the typical
macaron, it is grainier on the surface with bits of the flavor's raw
ingredient coating the shell.
Not to miss: Order a big lemon macaron, which is filled with lemon curd rather than lemon flavored ganache.
5.Sadaharu Aoki- This bakery combines tastes from the two greatest culinary capitals of the world: Japan and France. Parisian fare
can be extremely heavy, especially for those whose stomachs are not
adjusted to the rich cuisine. If you want a snack or a dessert but want
to avoid traditional butter lavished sweets, you should definitely check
out this Paris patisserie shop. Like anything Japanese, the macarons
are beautifully crafted and very petite. They are the smallest in
circumference and in thickness, so you can pop it in your mouth and
enjoy the soft airy taste of a macaron while avoiding a terrible
Not to miss: Anything green tea, especially the green tea macarons, which are made from authentic matcha (Japanese green tea) and are not sold elsewhere.
(3 locations in Paris and a mini store inside the food section of Galerie Lafayette)
by Amanda Kim, Contributing Author