There’s no treat in Paris as unique, elegant, and ubiquitous as the macaron. You can find hundreds of specimens in practically every corner patisserie. The edges may not be perfectly smooth, but you can find the dessert with the classic fillings – chocolate, coffee, vanilla, raspberry, pistachio – anywhere.
Of course, there are the luxury brands that distinguish themselves by only offering perfectly round macarons with unbroken shells and smooth filling. I am loyal to Laduree – I was won over instantly the first time I saw the robin’s egg teal branding, but I can’t deny the draw to Pierre Herme’s intense, experimental flavors.
Recently our friends introduced us to the Pierre Herme shop on the illustrious Champs Elysees that shares four walls with L’Occitane, the French beauty company. Normally I find Pierre Herme’s modern branding a bit stodgy, but I was instantly swept away with the colors and lights in the sun-filled store.
The prominent center counter reflects the circular macaron shape and is accentuated by clusters of orb lights and shiny pastel tile. On either side of the counter, L’Occitane products in every color of the rainbow are on display in sunlit windows.
Whit deliberated over the cases of pastries and cookies, while I snapped away non-stop until I absolutely had to place my order. Despite the tempting array of bright macarons, I opted for a (gluten-free!) decadent triple chocolate mousse cake.
We were dying to devour our treats, but we held off until we were sitting in a patch of grass in front of the Eiffel Tower. It was the perfect taste of sun, spring, and of course – French pastries.