Admittedly I signed up for this account months ago but didn’t think it was right to share it and post in it until I officially established that I’m going to Paris. I’ve been accepted, I’ve been buying “Paris pieces” to add to my wardrobe (I’m really not expecting look like a Parisienne but I’m definitely not going to be showing up in faded yoga pants and flip flops), and I’m on my way to booking my flight and applying for my Student Visa. Fingers crossed because it seems like the hardest part as of yet will be working with the French Consulate.
Other than slowly preparing for my year abroad (5 more months until I’m on that plane!), I’ve also been dedicated to educating myself on the most highly recommended patisseries, boulangeries et fromageries in Paris (thanks expat bloggers!) and getting enthusiastic about fine food and desserts via sampling tasty treats in New York City and, this weekend, in Montreal.
Unbeknown to me until the night before, I was luckily in NYC for Jour du Macaron (March 21) where I successfully made it to 5/21 participating shops and got a single free macaron from each place. That day was my first experience ever eating a macaron.. or, really, macarons.. And here’s what I have to say:
1) First stop: Mille Feuille where I got a rose macaron. I liked that it was a decent size and that it had a bit of a crunch to it (opposed to being chewy) and that the rose flavor wasn’t too overpowering. I wasn’t in awe but I thought it was decent.
2) From Bosie Cafe I received a salted caramel macaron. I also appreciated the size of this one, how it wasn’t chewy and had the right kind of texture to it. A bit too sweet for me- but that’s just me. I’m not a huge caramel fan. Definitely the second best macaron that I tried of the day.
3) From Mad Mac a puny little pistacchio macaron that had hardly any flavor and just looked stale. I don’t know if they were forced to participate in macaron day or what because the display avait l’air of an afterthought. The server was basically friendly but I felt like they really didn’t want to be bothered with us freeloaders.
4) From Macaron Cafe near Madison- I got a flavor that they’re known for – the raspberry macaron. This macaron was bit soft and chewy and had a jam filling. The outer shell had a sheen and almost a shimmery coat. The macaron was definitely tasty and I would try another one from Macaron Cafe- they probably had the widest variety of flavors (and colors) but the raspberry macaron wasn’t my favorite of the day.
5) I unintentionally saved the best for last on my tour du macaron. I stopped in at La Maison du Chocolat where they were only offering pistacchio macarons. And with good reason. These were my favorite of the day, and I think they might be their most popular.
I was slightly intimidated at the thought of going into this shop on the Upper East Side for my free macaron, especially as I was carrying a Tiffany’s shopping bag to protect all my macarons in. This might sound sort of chic but in Upper East Siders would see right through me and regard me as someone with strikingly bad taste. Why? Well, the only Tiffany & Co’s in Manhattan are below 59th Street, and so it’s unlikely that I had really bought something at Tiffany’s earlier that day; I would have had to walk 20 blocks to Maison du Chocolat from Tiffany’s (quelle horreur!) And if I had taken a cab, I wouldn’t have been holding the bag. And I definitely didn’t live near by or else I would’ve dropped off my diamonds first before picking up my macaron.
That leaves option two:
I am one of those people who saves bags (strike one) and uses them to carry around my zipolock’ed lunch and attempt to feel glamorous.( strike two)
Point is I was wearing a giant neon sign that said “I DON’T BELONG HERE”.. But the vendeur dans la Maison du Chocolat was a very kind older gentleman who engaged in a little small talk with me before I left.
Verdict– I loved the chocolate filled, pistacchio macaron de la Maison du Chocolat and might even consider picking up another the next time I’m in town. That is, if I can’t find something better to spend my $2.50 on. (Like a giant, flaky croissant perhaps or one of those famous giant cookies from City Bakery)