Paris Day 53: The Great Macaron Taste Test

My slightly manic obsession with macarons is on par with the way some people feel about chocolate or coffee. I SIMPLY LOVE THEM. I MUST EAT THEM. ALL. THE. TIME.

I’m proud to say I’ve passed my obsession on to my boys. Since today was the first day of home school, Bug and I decided to reward them with a macaron treasure hunt/taste test. The goal: find five macaron shops and decided which reigns supreme over all and in each category. Since I’m in quarantine due to illness, Bug took the boys around Paris gathering up the goodies. They returned with a nice haul.

The haul.

The contenders from top left to bottom: Salon du Thé (1), ; Les Jardins (2), Les Paris Gourmands (3), La Durée (4), Marais Boulangerie et Patisserie (5). From left to right the flavors are lemon, vanilla, raspberry, chocolate, and salted caramel. Two shops were out of vanilla (my flavor), so I averaged out the scores to make it fairer.

The results (scoring 1-5, with 5 being the best):

Flavor: Lemon. Taster: The Colonel. Winner: All of them.

It became clear during the taste test the Colonel does not care if the cookie is good as long as it is a cookie. He rated every macaron a 5 and tried to steal other people’s flavors. He was immediately banned for life from all future taste tests, but that didn’t detour him, and he proceeded to eat as many as he could sneak. If he doesn’t puke tonight, it will be a miracle.

Flavor: Vanilla. Taster: Me.

#1 scored a 2 because it had a medicinal/plastic taste I’ve never experienced before.

#3 The filling had sugar granules that I found weird. My score – a 3.

#4 scored a perfect 5. It was soft, had the right combination of chewy and crunchy, and the filling was perfectly vanilla.

Flavor: Raspberry. Taster: The Fox. Winner: Tie – Les Paris Gourmands and Marais Boulangerie & Patisserie.

#1 scored a 3 for not having enough filling.

#2 scored a 4 for being too soft.

#3 scored a 5 . It was sweet and mushy and tasted like real raspberries.

#4 scored a 4.5. It was penalized for being too crunchy.

#5 scored a 5. The Fox declared it to be “perfectly creamy and yummy.”

Flavor: Chocolate. Taster: Bug. Winner: Les Jardins

#1 ; scored a 3.5. The cookie was too crunchy.

#2 scored a 5. Had a perfect combination of crunchy & chewy. And the ganache was amazing.

#3 scored a 3.5. It lacked filling as was almost all cookie.

#4 scored a 4.5. Almost perfect, but the cookie needed more fluff.

#5 scored a 4.0. Too Soft.

Flavor: Salted Caramel. Taster: Pudge. Winner: La Durée

#1 scored a 4. Not enough filling.

#2 scored a 4. Too mushy.

#3 scored a 4.5. So good, but not as good as…

#4 scored a 5. “It’s amazing.”

#5 scored a 4.5. “Too creamy and the cookie fell apart. But it was good.”

The overall results:

1st place – La Durée

2nd place – Marais Boulangerie & Patisserie – Rue du Vieille du Temple near Rue des Rossiers.

3rd place – Les Jardins

4th place – Les Paris Gourmands

5th place – Salon du Thé

The aftermath:

The last macaron standing.

Paris Day 27: The World’s Most Expensive FAX

Ever hear the one about the man who needed to fax something but couldn’t find an internet cafe near his wife’s therapist so he booked a room on the Champs Elysee JUST TO USE THE BUSINESS CENTER since it was for guests only?

Yeah. That would be my husband.

In all fairness, I wasn’t feeling well after our appointment and the thought of not having to stand on the Metro for twenty minutes appealed to me. Plus, Bug had errands in that neighborhood later in the day, so in a not-so-sensical way, it made sense to just stay in a hotel for the night.

However, we had no clothes or toiletries and I think the staff thought we were either 1. Insane; or 2. Illicit lovers. They kept giving me knowing smiles and laughing at us. The business center host, upon seeing us return after she shoo’d us away because we weren’t guests, actually stared at Bug slack jawed when he flashed her the room key. So, yes, it was slightly insane, but Bug was able to fax his forms and I got to watch the cringe-worthy Young Adult on pay-per-view while he was out. Even better, he returned with macarons for me, so all-in-all, it was a win 😀

Today, instead of going straight home, we meandered around satisfying our mutual love of jewelry and watches. Dear God, where has the Rue de la Paix been all my life? Seriously, Panerai, Van Clef & Arpels, Tiffany, Cartier…it was sparkly sensory overload, but I somehow managed to get through it and pick out a ring I loved. Only problem is that it has to be shipped from Germany or something because no one in France carries the size or color I want.

As we wandered around, I became more aware that I had lived in this dress for about thirty-six hours and quite possibly smelled terrible despite showering. Plus, at this point, the dress may have very well been able to walk around on its own. Still, for a 7 euro H&M dress, I have to say, it held up very well. Didn’t bag out or lose its shape.

A little blurry, but you can see the shape.
BIRDS (and yes, it’s in need of an iron)

And because it’s awesome: A giant macaron.

Tomorrow, I think I may drag Bug on a tour of the Opera or the Catacombs since I need to do a little research for my next book. Good money he picks the Opera 😀