Saturday, March 20, 2010

47 macarons later

I did it. Today was Pierre Hermé’s Jour du Macaron, and, oui, mesdames et messieurs, I did the full circuit. I could have returned chez-moi with a ridiculous cache of 53 macarons. But because I’m a woman of restraint, and I came home with only 47. Actually, 43, since I ate four along the way.

So the premise of le Jour du Macaron is you can go to any one of Pierre Hermé’s six boutiques in the city, and get three free macarons of your choice. (While there, you’re encouraged to drop some coins into a box for a couple different charities—a very nice gesture.) But if you go to all six boutiques, and get a card stamped to prove it, you’re rewarded with a box of 35 macarons. What does one girl do with 35 macarons, much less 53?! Well, I’m eating as I type, for one thing…

I intended to do something like the Tour du Chocolat and Velib to all six boutiques. But they’re spread pretty well across the city so I alternated between bike, foot and Metro.

At 10:15, the madness began. There was already a line out the door of the rue Bonaparte location, having just opened at 10.

I started there because I knew it would be the craziest, being Hermé’s first boutique and being in Saint-Germaine. But after a relatively swift move through the line, I got my three: milk chocolate and Earl Grey tea, vanilla and le Magnifique: raspberry and wasabi.

Yes, they are as delicious as they sound.

Then I pedaled onto the rue Vaugirard location. Not as crazy, not at all. My three choices?

Pistachio, caramel and an unbelievable mélange of peach, apricot and saffron.

A few metro stops later, I was in the 16th arrondisement, at avenue Paul Doumer.

There, I scooped up chocolate, the mind-bending white truffle and hazelnut and apricot and pistachio.

At Publicis Drugstore, my fourth location, there was a pretty serious line and the employees were coming through it to stamp cards. Once my stamp was added, I decided to save myself the 10-minute wait in line and forgo those three free macarons. Really. How gluttonous can one be?

The next stretch of the circuit was fun as it took me on my old commute from the Champs-Elysée down to the first arrondisement. I pulled right up to the Velib station in front of the rue Cambon location and hopped in line.

By now, it was after noon and the waits were taking awhile. But I figured I was still on target to finish by 2.

I got my card stamped, excited that I had just one more stop, and ordered up the Médélice, lemon and hazelnut praliné; Fragola, raspberry and balsamic vinegar; and the much-acclaimed olive oil and vanilla. Trust me, it’s delicious.

I left the Galeries Lafayette location to last, which was a mistake: it was the craziest scene. I stood in line for 45 minutes, hungry for proper nourishment, having only eaten a banana and another macaron. I was anxious to have the circuit done. Still on track for my 2pm goal, but I hate waiting for food.

Finally, I got up to the counter and surprised the guy when I told him I’d skip the three freebies and just get to my free boite.

Have you ever created your own assortment of 35 macaron flavors? It was crazy. I just kept ordering more and more. And more.

Lemon, jasmine, coffee, milk chocolate and passionfruit, chocolate and cassis, just plain old chocolate, more vanilla, more pistachio, more caramel, two more of my favorites… more, more, more!

I have to find out how many macarons they went through today.


  1. What an adventure and a job well done. 47 macarons for free? Can't be that! You are my hero. :-)

  2. Oh je suis jalouse! The flavors all sound incredible!

  3. P.S. Are you on twitter? Do you have a contact email?

  4. wow. you are such a rock star!! i bow down in awe. way to friggin' dig life. you inspire me.

  5. All I did today was nurse a hangover. Can you do me a favor-- next time there's free anything deals can you maybe make a mention of it prior to the event. I promise not to be terribly competitive.

  6. Just found your blog. Love it! Love Paris, I have been there about 12 times. I also like your French phrase of the day. Could you also include the phonetic pronunciation, that would help me a lot, then I wouldn't sound ridiculous when I try to use it. Thanks !

  7. It was a very rough weekend, indeed; a hard life, for sure. One would think I'd be macaron'd out, but I'm not. I've probably plowed through about 20 of the macarons, and I am in awe of Pierre Hermé and these flavors he's created. Incroyable.

    LGZ, if I hear of any 'offert' events in advance, I will post!

    Andi, you can email me at - I don't tweet. Is that horribly lame??

  8. Oh Wow, this looks like a fabulous treat!! I love macaroons and I've never imagined such great flavors!!! Wish I'd been there!!!

  9. omd, I am so jealous! Going back to Paris in 2 weeks for the first time since I left last September. I wonder if there's anything like this on Easter Sunday?!

    Do you have any left?!

  10. Did anyone ever tell you just how good your photographs are? Between your blog and your photos, you have a book deal in your future.

  11. Job well done! Impressive feat my french living friend! Jour du Macaron rocks!