A dear friend of mine was leaving Paris last Sunday and instead of buying her a goodbye present to carry home, I decided to give her a little treat she had never tried before: Pierre Hermé's macarons. After a couple of bad experiences with this colourful pastry she would frown on the very mention of it. I decided she can't go home with such a feeling about macarons.
I went to the small shop in rue Bonaparte where I had to queue about ten minutes in front of the store (no, you don't have to queue for everything in Paris). I entered the modern, shiny shop where pastries are displayed in front of you behind a glass vitrine making your mouth water. I instantly determined to buy a tart for myself, instead of just macarons. As you might imagine, I ended up with both. Plus the macarons for my friend.
I ran to the metro carrying a transparent Pierre Hermé bag full of pastries thinking about coming home as soon as possible, to indulge in Infiniment Vanille: Pâte sablée, biscuit imbibé au jus de vanille, ganache au chocolat blanc à la
vanille, crème de mascarpone à la vanille
Any translation of this beautiful text would be a crime, and I only have one word for you, which need not be translated: vanilla.
I slided my spoon through the perfectly smooth creme (I couldn't believe it could be so smooth and light yet so resistant, like yelly - I touched the surface with my fingers and it really was resistant - which is great if you have to carry it home for photoshooting) thinking how much vanilla is there in this perfect little tart. The taste was sensational, not too sweet, not cheesy, just light, smooth vanilla - yes smooth is the word here). There are three different types of vanilla beans used in making this piece of art, for every bean contributes to the final flavour. Pâte sablée is a nice match to the creme though I wouldn't mind eating just the creme and nothing more! And for more I will go soon.
Apologies for the messy slice, I simply didn't have the patience to make a perfect one, I just digged the spoon right throught it.
As for the macarons... When my friend carried the first macaron to her mouth I was pacing around her nervously, awaiting her impression. It seemed I have made a brilliant choice of flavours and the first one she picked out from the bag was her favourite: Jasmin. It was Infiniment Jasmin, white tea & jasmin flower macaron with a shiny silver powder brushed on the crispy top which ended on our nose and cheeks after the first bite of happiness.
I have to say that I haven't untill this day in Paris tried a macaron other than Pierre Hermé's. I feel as if I would betray them or Pierre or myself by eating any other. So every time I want to eat macarons I want to eat Pierre Hermé's macarons.
But I promise here that I will indulge myself into other macarons for the sake of this blog and food open-mindedness :).
And to add a few words for my croatian readers - though I haven't tried other macarons in Paris execept Hermé's, I have tried various "macarons" in Vincek and Orient (for my non-croatian readers, these are the famous patissseries in Zagreb which you shouldn't miss if traveling there) and in my humble opinion - whatever they are, they're not macarons. Too sweet, too dry, no consistency whatsoever and by that they don't deserve to be called macarons.
If you think I've crossed the line here, we will talk again after you try Hermé's babies. :)