I think it goes without saying, but just to be sure, I’ll say it again. All French macarons are not created equal. Trust me, I’ve tried them. A lot of them. All over the world as a matter of fact (afternoon tea at a 5-star hotel in Bangkok, a bakery in the Ferry Building in San Francisco, macaron only shops in NYC, just to name a few).
I never really was a macaron snob until my sister-in-law told me to try the famous ones from Laduree of Paris. Once I tried these absolutely perfect, light, airy, flavorful and delicious little gems from Laduree, I was hooked and the bar was set high. Like so high, that it has been really hard to find any sort of comparison or competition. I have tried a lot of macarons and after trying the ones from Laduree, I’ve found most macarons to be either too dry, too chewy, having no flavor, too dense and the list goes on. Yes, I realize that I sound maybe a little picky (ok, very picky) about these little treats, but why would you waste perfectly good money and calories on something that is not good? And, macarons don’t come cheap as most are upwards of $2.50 each. So, let me save you some time and hard-earned cash and tell you three of my top favorites I’ve come across during my food and travel adventures.
Laduree– Well, of course this was going to be on the list since I just went on and on raving about them! Originally only available in Paris, Laduree’s fame made its way to the US to NYC and was an instant hit on the Upper East Side. Such a hit, that a second NYC location in SoHo was built and now more recently, a Miami, Florida location has opened (you know I am waiting with bated breath for the announcement of a Chicago location). The first time I ever tried Laduree, I tried three different flavors and I remember thinking they were all really good, but there was one in particular that really blew me away. It was the salted caramel macaron and I still think about it to this day. Thank goodness for the NYC Laduree locations since I can’t make it to Paris as frequently as I make it to NYC (sad, but not so sad, cause I really do love NYC). Trust me, if you find yourself at Laduree, or know of anyone near one (there are also locations in other countries too), make sure you get the salted caramel one. I promise you won’t be disappointed.
Pierrot Gourmet at The Peninsula Hotel Chicago– If you read my blog, then hopefully you already read the write-up I did on the absolutely fantastic summer soiree I attended at The Peninsula Hotel a few months ago. I mean, I could still go on and on about what an unbelievable party The Peninsula can throw, but since we are talking macarons here, I will stick to the topic at hand. At the party that evening, I had the chance to sample many different flavors of macarons that are served at the restaurant Pierrot Gourmet at The Peninsula Chicago. I loved some of the unique flavors, like cherry pistachio, but the one that stole my heart was the s’mores macaron. Delicate and flavorful with a marshmallow and rich chocolate ganache center, I just can’t get enough of this treat. It is a bit of a problem that I live right around the corner from Pierrot Gourmet and can just zoom in and out to fulfill my s’mores macaron craving (which is quite frequent as a matter of fact). Dangerous I tell you….very dangerous!
Woops! Bakeshop– With locations in New York, New Jersey and Connecticut, I was first introduced to these macarons last year at my cousin’s engagement party. From the first bite, I could tell these were legit macarons because not only did they have tons of flavor, they were not at all dry (I really hate dry macarons). I recently had the chance to try more Woops! macarons and loved tasting many of the fun flavors. I was also pretty shocked at what my favorite flavor was. Normally I tend to love the chocolate or pistachio variety and am not one to like some of the “crazy” flavors. After sampling them I was really digging the coffee and the strawberry ones. I kept passing up the peanut butter and jelly, cause you know, I was sure it wasn’t going to be good. And then when I finally had it, I was blown away! I guess I wasn’t sure what I was expecting, but the subtle peanut butter and slightly sweet filling made this one my favorite of the bunch. Who would have thought? Not me! I think you will be shocked at how much you like the peanut butter and jelly macaron when you try it. Check it out and let me know.
So, there you have it. Some of my favorite macarons I’ve discovered so far. I’m not saying I’ve tried all of them, but from what I have had, these are three of the best brands! What are some of your favorites from around the world?
Please Note: While I was provided with products, all opinions are my own.