Before Blair Waldorf introduced every Gossip Girl fan to this French confection, a small patisserie on Queen St in Toronto called Nadège gave me my own introduction. I’ll have to discuss my favorite Canadian French Patisserie in more detail some other time, because it definitely deserves a post of its own. Known to some as a macaroon, known to the French as a macaron, the egg white, almond paste cookie sandwich is among my favorite of French things (others include the men, fashion, and the Seine).
“[Pierre Hermé] A genius beyond measure”
Upon my recent birthday trip to Paris I was on a mission to enjoy Blair Waldorf’s favorite version of these cookies. After all, if it’s good enough for Blair, it’s good enough for me. Unfortunately, this wasn’t the case. I’d heard wonderful things about Ladurée, but I’d somehow managed to spoil it for myself by visiting Pierre Hermé first. A genius beyond measure with particularly posh store fronts, Pierre Hermé and his desserts are the delightful sort of thing dreams are made of. As the servers picked up their PH monogrammed tongs and carefully placed each macaron into the bag, I had no idea what I was about to experience. I’d happily pack on twenty pounds if they were gained consuming his mogador macarons, a passion fruit and chocolate cookie that is beyond incredible.
The very next day, I ventured to Ladurée, expecting the same sort of wonderful experience I’d received at PH. Sadly, this was not the case. The server violently crammed the beautiful, and let me remind you delicate, cookies into a bag. Stunned, I watched the cookies crumble, not entirely, but enough to detract from this new favorite experience of mine. My sister and I returned to our hotel room and propped ourselves up on our beds, ready to devour these macarons, Blair’s favorite, in the same manner we had the day before. we inspected the coconut cookies, although cracked still delicious looking, we took our now ritualized first bite in unison. I don’t know why it wasn’t as magical, but the coconut filling was too sweet and the cookie itself not as perfect.
I think it was then I realized that Pierre Hermé had likely ruined all other macarons for me. So much so that I’m still nursing the box I brought home, contemplating if I should only eat half a cookie.