Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Ooh La La…Designer Parisian Macarons

One of the other countries I covered on my recent European business trip is France, having the amazing opportunity to visit Paris. As it was my first time there, I was literally salivating at all the specialties I would try, especially desserts.

Deciding to take a traditional French foods tour of the Latin Quarter, it was one of the best things I did (but more on that later). Here I want to highlight a most lovely dessert I had on the last day of my trip – the almighty and these days, very trendy macaron.

For those of you not overly familiar with these treats, however I think most of you may have had one or several before, they’re little, delicate meringue cookies stuffed with different flavored fillings. What makes them so beautiful is their color, giving hints to the flavors inside.

While you’ll find macarons in most sweet shops around Paris, I was immediately drawn to the selection at Maison Georges Larnicol, which looked elegant and sophisticated. I could tell this would be no ordinary cookie.

Fortuitously stumbling upon this boutique bakery just by chance, it’s located right off the Latin Quarter near the busy Odeon metro stop. What drew me in immediately was their chic display of macarons, simply but beautifully placed into long tubular boxes, showcasing a rainbow of vibrant colors.

Once inside, I noticed the macaron display didn’t stop there, as the center of the store was graced with a huge macaron bar, with a head macaronist (if you will), helping you with your unique needs and packaging them individually for each person. What attention to detail!

I approached the display cautiously, surveying the goods ever so carefully. I knew I just wanted one precious bite, so I had to be strategic. But it was a hard task, with over 20 different flavors confronting you head-on.

Macaron – Given the 20+ different flavors of macarons including lemon, pistachio, raspberry, rose, dark chocolate, praline, coffee, salted caramel and more, I finally narrowed it down to one single one, the praline. I had some doubts about my choice, but those were all gone once I bit into this baby. Flaky, airy and wonderful as far as the cookie was concerned, it hugged the dense, richness of the praline filling like a glove. The filling was the best part, as it was creamy, slightly chilled and not overly sweet. It was the perfect way to finish off an already rich gastronomic journey.

Service and Cost:
As I mentioned, the service is uniquely individual, showcasing the high quality of this place. After you get your macarons, your macaronist places your individual baggie at the main counter for which there was a line. It was expedited quickly and in an organized fashion, giving you the perception that this is a tightly run ship.

Each macaron is 85 cents, which is about $1.10. Expensive on first glance, but given the high quality and superior taste, worth every last bite.
If you'd like to get a better idea of the other amazing goodies at this place, including their intricate chocolate sculptures, take a look at this
video from Espadrilles & Champagne.  

3 Mmmms

Maison Georges Larnicol - 132 Boulevard St. Germain 75006 Paris
+33 (0)1 43 26 39 38
Metro: Odeon



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