Paris Macarons – Ladurée & Pierre Hermé
I know what you’re thinking and yes, I did visit Paris back in June. Why am I just posting this now? Well, I have no acceptable reason other than I have been procrastinating. But, I am FINALLY digging through my phone and DSLR camera for past food photos that I had meant to post but never did.
Anyway, when I visited Paris, I bought macarons from two places: Ladurée and Pierre Hermé. I had always known about Ladurée but I had never heard of Pierre Hermé until my friend Lynda mentioned it to me. Luckily, in Champs-Élysées, both places were close by.
I’m going to start off with Ladurée, since it’s more well known. I visited the shop in Champs-Élysées and bought the box of eight macarons. At this location, they had more than one design of the eight-macaron box. I chose the purple and green version.
Isn’t it beautiful? It really suits the Parisian life.
My memory of how these macarons taste is quite foggy. I did write my thoughts down when I did my taste test, so hopefully I can form them into complete sentences from my scribbles.
We’ll start off with the Earl Grey macaron.
The Earl Grey macaron tastes exactly as its named. It’s a real punch of earl grey flavour. If you love earl grey tea, you’ll love this one.
The Red Fruits macaron is sweet with a sour tang. I believe it’s composed of strawberry and raspberry, which explains the sweet/sour combo. It’s not too sweet but I do feel it’s more tangy.
The Marie-Antoninette Tea macaron was not what I expected. To be honest, I chose this macaron because of how pretty the blue hue is. This macaron is composed of “Chinese black tea, rose petals, citrus fruit, and honey.’ I could definitely taste the honey, black tea, and citrus fruits. Luckily, the rose petal taste was not noticeable because my taste buds do not like rose petals. This macaron was also sweet.
The Coffee macaron was sweet with a strong coffee taste. The filling was chewy, as if you were chewing on coffee ground bits.
The Orange Blossom macaron had a tea taste and it wasn’t too sweet. I can’t remember what was in it, but it had a hint of something floral. I didn’t like it at first bite but the taste grew on me.
The Rose Petal macaron was surprisingly sweet. You can definitely taste the floral flavour in this one. I mean, after all, it’s named “Rose Petal.” This macaron has a buttercream filling.
The Salted Caramel macaron is quite sweet since it has caramel in it. But it’s not overpowering with caramel – it has just the right amount. If you’re a fan of anything salted caramel, then this macaron is for you.
The Pistachio macaron is sweet with a light pistachio flavour. I was hesitant about this one because I thought it would have a nutty taste to it. But, I was wrong. It’s got a sweetness to it and it’s actually one of my favourite macaron flavours.
Now onto the Pierre Hermé macarons.
The Pierre Hermé store in Champs-Élysées is actually tucked inside a pharmacy-like place. It’s pretty much right across from the Arc De Triomphe. Having never heard of Pierre Hermé I had no clue what to expect, but I was in love with their branding.
Here’s what the box, which I believe holds up to 12 macarons, looks like.
The top lid has some landmarks of famous attractions in Paris.
Inside laid my macarons, which I got seven of them. Similar to Ladurée , they are wrapped in a tissue paper-like material. My macarons look beat up because they were in my carry-on suitcase, which at one point was placed with the checked baggage. So, they’ve been through a lot just to make it from Paris 😉
Enough of the packaging, let’s get on to the macarons!
I’ll start off with the Arabesque macaron.
The Arabesque macaron or what I believe to be (I really should have noted which flavours I ordered at the time) is full of apricot and pistachio. This macaron has a sweet filling; it’s got fruity hints of the apricot but I couldn’t taste the pistachio. I must say that it was still pretty crispy/crunchy when I ate it about two weeks after I came back from Paris.
The Velouté Ispahan macaron is composed of yogurt and rose, litchi (lychee), and raspberry. This macaron has a sour tang to it from the raspberry. It’s actually too sour for my liking. I think it’s partly due to the yogurt. I did taste a little bit of the rose and the filling has dried fruit hidden within.
The Velouté Infiniment Citron Vert macaron is made of yogurt and lime zests. It’s got a really sour filling and you can really taste the lime zest. It’s not subtle at all.
The Céleste macaron is comprised of passion fruit, rhubarb, and strawberry. It seemed like the centre, or filling, is the rhubarb and it’s quite a sweet filling.
The Velouté Infiniment Pamplemousse macaron is made up of yogurt and grapefruit. It’s got a tangy filling and like the Velouté Ispahan macaron, this too has dried fruit in the centre. I do believe it’s grapefruit. Unfortunately, this did not deliver with a grapefruit taste, which I had hoped for.
To be honest, I’m not entirely sure which kind this macaron is. I believe it’s something in the Macaron Jardin collection. It does have a mint flavoured filling and it’s got a chestnut taste. With those two together, you definitely get more of a sweet tasting macaron.
The Infiniment Caramel macaron is made of “caramel au beurre salé,” translating to salted butter caramel. I had to get this flavour to compare with the caramel one from Ladurée. This macaron had a bittersweet filling. It was quite oily/greasy, which I assume is from the kind of caramel used. Surprisingly, it’s not full of caramel taste; you just get hints of it. It does have a sweet biscuit, pairing nicely with the bittersweet filling.
Well, that concludes my macaron review. Overall, I liked the Ladurée macaron a lot more than the ones from Pierre Hermé. The Ladurée macarons were sweeter and I am more of a sweets person. If you prefer sour, tangy flavours, then Pierre Hermé is more suited for you.
Out of all the macarons I tried, I would have to say the Pistachio one from Ladurée was my ultimate favourite. It had just the right sweetness with the perfect amount of pistachio flavouring. If you do hit up a Ladurée, anywhere in the world, please grab one and you will not be disappointed!
Until next post!