Macarons in Paris

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Ubiquitous, giftable and, of course, tasty, macarons are an essential part of the Parisian experience and are a treasured art form among pastry chefs.

Macarons are colorful and fluffy sandwiches that are made with meringue, almond flour and buttercream filling. Today the colorful and pillowy delights are seen as the ultimate indulgence, but it hasn’t always been so glamorous. While macarons are considered a French dessert, they’re said to have been produced in Venetian monasteries since the 8th century. It wasn’t until the Renaissance that Catherine de’ Medici brought her Italian chefs to Paris upon her marriage with Henry II of France. The local specialty dessert only began to rise to fame during the French Revolution when two Carmelite nuns seeking asylum in Nancy baked and sold macarons as we know them today. Eventually the Macaron Parisien, made up of two meringue cookies and brought together by a smooth flavored filling, was popularized and endured a never ending process of reinvention in all sorts of shapes, colors and forms. The specialty dessert has since spread across the world, but Parisians know that the macaron is a specialty all their own.

From Foie Gras to duck confit and and cheeses, escargot, Paris is a city with no shortage of fantastic eats. That range of cuisine extends to pastries with its well-known little colorful macarons. The delicious and colorful round pastries are made of sugar and almond, and you can find them in an endless variety of flavors. The complex artisanal process behind macarons is partly the reason for the steep price. The consistency, shape, pairing, bubbles, circumference, size and thickness all come into question for a city that seems to have mastered the art of the macaron.

While you’ll be able to find macarons in virtually every bakery in Paris, it’s worth opting for the specialty pastry shops. World-famous places such as Laudrée and Pierre Hermé often have longer waits and the prices can be steep in comparison, however, the history of the macaron and its development over the course of centuries can be felt in these very spots. For a real treat, “Macaron Day” falls on March 20 and was introduced by the “Picasso of Pastry” Pierre Hermé himself. The best macarons are said to be found within Paris’ ancient quarter of Saint-Germain where you be the judge for which shop in the area does it best.

Sadaharu Aoki

35 Rue de Vaugirard, 75006 Paris, France

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Ladurée Paris Carrousel du Louvre

99 Rue de Rivoli, 75001 Paris, France

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Christophe Roussel - Duo creatif avec Julie

5 Rue Tardieu, 75018 Paris, France

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Pâtisserie Emma Duvéré

41 Rue Sedaine, 75011 Paris, France

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L Osmanthe

8 Rue Tourneux, 75012 Paris, France

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46 Rue des Rosiers, 75004 Paris, France

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