Paris 2014 – Macarons (Sadaharu Aoki, Pierre Hermé, Ladurée)

Macarons are everywhere in Paris but they aren’t all made equal. Many people don’t really bother looking and just head to Ladurée because it’s the most famous brand, and people assume that’s the best. However, I beg to differ. Ladurée is NOT the best, and in fact, the quality is pretty average to me.

Sadaharu Aoki Macarons

L-R: Violet, Black Sesame, Earl Grey, Genmaicha, Wasabi, Matcha, Earl Grey, Genmaicha

In my opinion, Sadaharu Aoki makes the best flavours. Their macaron shell are not of the best quality and they got to work on the consistency. I feel that they do not have a fixed standards on ageing the macarons or how quickly they assembled the macarons after baking the shells. Macarons are delicate and a slight change in procedure leads to a big change in texture.

The matcha is not nice in my opinion, but my friend just needed to taste it to believe it. The Genmaicha is the best flavour and so I got double. Their tea flavours are generally good but the other favourite, Houjicha wasn’t available that day. The next best is earl grey.

The wasabi was a surprise winner and it was very good. It wasn’t overpowering and nose choking. The black sesame was alight and the violet was just.. Don’t buy that.

Just stick to the tea/ Japanese flavours! The flavours are simply magical and so much better than most other macarons I’ve tried in my life – you know, most of the time it’s just Sugar flavour you’re having when it comes to macarons. These macarons here are strong in flavours like you get 100% of Genmaicha when you have a bite.

You may also like to know that the macarons are priced lower than Pierre Hermé or Ladurée’s.

I just had to have the Genmaicha eclair since it’s Sadahauru Aoki. Not bad, but the macaron’s better!

Galeries Lafayette Gourmet 1er étage
40 Boulevard Haussmann 75009 Paris

Pierre Hermé Olive Oil & Vanilla Macaron

When it comes to Pierre Hermé macarons, I’d advise that you disregard your all time favourite flavour and only order this one. None of those “but I like rose, but I like chocolate..” – No. Put aside all bias opinions and just try this flavour with an open heart. For those who only assume olive oil is for savoury food you may think it sounds gross but olive oil is not always made equal. Certain olive oil has a floral note and for this one, the olive oil use is definitely not the sort you have in your kitchen.

I have tried making this flavour before (I have the Pierre Hermé macaron recipe book) but it is not easy. Olive oil doesn’t blend into the white chocolate ganache easily and the emulsion tends to break apart. Long story short – this flavour is worth your money because you can’t find anything similar anywhere else. It is not too sweet either.

Galeries Lafayette
40 boulevard Haussmann 75009 Paris

 

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Lastly, we have Ladurée. This brand can be found almost everywhere – at every airport or tourist attraction. I’ve spotted one in Versailles, along the streets randomly at Cannes, Nice’s Airport and many booths at CDG Airport (because I’ve transited there countless times this trip). It’s like Bengawan Solo/ Bee Cheng Hiang of Singapore – all Singaporeans know that those are not the best but somehow tourists always buy from them.

You may like to know that calso has dine in options with savoury food, but you should also know that you should not expect that a pastry maker can make decent food. Yes, Ladurée is famous for macarons but that doesn’t mean everything else they sell is. Same goes for Angelina, another macaron brand that is seen at every airport.

Anyway, back to the macaron. I bought 2 flavours – Salted Caramel and Coconut. The Salted Caramel was the standard I expected – I always felt this was the best flavour of Ladurée. The coconut however, was just a waste of money. There wasn’t anything special to it and I think I can bake better macarons.

If you are going to bring macarons back home, your best option is Ladurée because they have it at the airport, before and after immigration. It’s most convenient and practical.I suggest that you only get the Salted Caramel flavour and nothing else. Sometimes variety isn’t a a must, especially when it comes to macarons (for eating, not for photo taking purposes of course).

75, avenue des Champs Elysées, 75008 Paris
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