Friday, July 10, 2009

grown up love

Growing up here in Canada, when I heard the word "macaroon", I immediately started to drool, thinking of those chunky, sticky, coconutty treats of white chewy delight. We didn't get to have them very often, so I was always craving for them. Chocolate-covered macaroons (the pastry, not the little candies) were even better.

However, the past several years, as my taste buds and food knowledge were widened, I discovered that there was another type of macaroon out there - a French macaron. They look completely different from the macaroons I was used to and came in a stunning array of colours and flavours. I was instantly smitten.

I had never tried a macaron before, but I imagined them to be airy, soft, wonderfully chewy and pastry perfection. The more pictures I saw, the more I started craving macarons. I was starting to get afraid that I would be building up the macaron to imaginary heights that the real pastry would never be able to deliver on.

But where to find a good macaron in Toronto? I already had lists of places to visit should I ever be so lucky as to find myself in Paris, where I know I would indulge in so many macarons that I may need to go on a diet afterwards, but here...they were a little harder to find.

After some research on the net, I did find a list of bakeries here in Toronto that did macarons and was planning on making a trip to them (of course, none of them were any where near where I lived), however, as fate would have it, I was going to taste my first macaron sooner than I planned.

On a recent lunch-break walk with a co-worker, we strolled past the Holt Renfrew cafe and there they were - macarons! Made by Bobbette and Belle, they came in a package of 3 (for $7.95) and there was one each of yellow, pink and green. The tag on the package didn't mention what flavours they were, but I didn't care - there were macarons! Right in front of me! I grabbed a package and happily handed over more than I ever thought I would pay for 3 cookies.

I couldn't even wait to get home to have them (hence, the photos are taken with my not-so-great phone camera). Yes, I shamefully ate all three in one sitting at my work desk. But it was soooo worth it.

Each macaron was extremely light and airy, but still crispy. I bit in and both sides crumbled in and mixed with the ganache in the centre, creating a chewy, but light texture. I couldn't tell you what flavours they were as they were quite subtle, so I'm curious to find stronger-flavoured macarons, but the texture was exactly how I had imagined it.

So I have graduated from the coconut macaroon to the French macaron and I know I won't look back (although I won't turn down a coconut macaroon if presented with one). I'm not saving my pennies for my next macaron hit. Or maybe I should aim higher and put that piggy back work towards a trip to Paris.

Note to self: must learn to say "one dozen macarons, please!" in French.


ejm said...

Ah yes, these ARE the best, aren't they? We haven't had Parisian macarons but we have had Lyonaise macarons. Try as we might, we couldn't stop buying them at one of the stalls of the outdoor market alongside the river in Lyon.


(found you via TasteTO blog-a-log)

Style Blog said...

I love macarons! There is a place called Petite Thuet on Yonge St, and King St. that everyone should check out. Pics can be found here: