Thursday, 1 October 2009

Parisian macaron degustation / get over it, George

Just a quick update tonight, mainly to show you some food porn photos of the INSANE Parisian macaron degustation that Essjay shared with a very lucky group of food bloggers on Monday.

We were at Gastronomica, the hugely enjoyable gastronomic trivia night run by Slow Food Melbourne. This time round it was held at Matteo's (where we ate very well - these days, the Matteo's menu is a whole lot more cosmopolitan than when I last visited several years ago for an Italian birthday banquet for Nonno). There was a table of us food bloggers at the quiz night and I must say, we romped it in! It was only the first time I'd been, but I'm looking forward to going back next time to help defend our title.

Parisian macaron degustation

Anyway, Essjay was fresh off the plane after weeks of gastronomic delights in Spain and France, and our jaws dropped when she arrived at Matteo's carrying a Pierre Hermé bag that kept disgorging boxes of macarons, like clowns climbing out of a tiny clown car.

Pierre Hermé macarons

The round box was from Pierre Hermé, the small box from pâtisserie Sadaharu Aoki and the large box from Ladurée. In terms of looks, the Sadaharu Aoki macarons won hands down, but in terms of taste my favourites were probably the ones from Pierre Hermé.

Mellie (of Tummy Rumbles fame) and I had heaps of fun doing a side-by-side taste test of salted caramel macarons (my favourite flavour!!) from Pierre Hermé and Ladurée, and we decided the Pierre Hermé was superior.

Sadaharu Aoki macarons

The Ladurée flavour that I was excited to try cos it sounded so interesting, but that I decided was better in theory than in practice, was the apricot with white balsamic vinegar. The violet one from Sadaharu Aoki was pretty special though.

Only two and a bit weeks until my next trip to Sydney - looking forward to going back to Zumbo for some of his macarons!

Ladurée macarons

Oh, and for those who missed it, George Calombaris made some rather snide and childish remarks about food blogs in an article about Melbourne food blogs in yesterday's Herald Sun. Kate from the blog Eating Melbourne wrote up an excellent post in response, which mirrors my sentiments exactly!


Stephen Estcourt said...

Ab fab. Great Pics. I can almost feel them melting in my mouth.

Johanna said...

those colours are amazing - and thanks for the link to the melbourne larder post on george - v interesting reading

cloudcontrol said...

Colour me ignorant, but can someone explain to me when/why these t hings stopped being macaroons, and started being macarons!?

penny aka jeroxie said...

First - Congras on the win!

Next, good question cloudcontrol. I wonder that myself!
The colours of those macarons are so vibrant. I know of a friend that is opening shop in QV!YAY!

claire said...

Glad you like the pics, Stephen and Johanna!

Happy to oblige, cloudcontrol and penny!
A macaron is a variety of French petit four made from two halves of almond meringue with a filling (often a ganache) in the middle.
A macaroon is most commonly a sort of chunky biscuit, often containing large quantities of dessicated coconut (or sometimes almond), popular in Scotland and the US.
Although some Anglophiles like to anglicise the French spelling of macaron to macaroon when describing the meringue-y one, I prefer to use the French spelling because it avoids confusion with the coconutty one.
You can read more on the subject on Syrup and Tang's excellent macaron posts. :)

Gourmet Chick said...

What a booty of macarons. In my view Ladurée is the best for "traditional" flavours such as chocolate and strawberry while Herme is the best for the more unusual combinations (I love the passionfruit and chocolate).

Eating Melbourne said...

Salted caramel macarons... drool. My last visit to Paris was 2 years ago, before discovering macarons, so I didn't go to Pierre Hermé or Ladurée.

Obviously I need another trip to Paris.

Thanks for the link by the way. Love love love your blog.

Belle@Ooh, Look said...

Oh, it would be heaven to taste macarons from P. Herme, et al! At least I have Zumbo :) Speaking of which, he will have 60 flavours of macaron for one day only on 6th Nov. You must try and catch it...

claire said...

Hi Gourmet Chick, thanks for your tips. Melbourne's macaron maestro Duncan made chocolate/passionfruit macarons for us at a food blogger banquet we had here in March!

Thanks Eating Melbourne, glad you like it! Your response to the George Calombaris hoo-ha was spot on.

Oh Belle! I'll be up in Sydney the weekend of the 16th Oct, alas not in early Nov. But definitely planning on a Zumbo visit...

mellie said...

Oooh...we were ever so grown up with our salted caramel macaron taste test, as much as I wanted to rip it from your hand and have it all to myself ;-)

claire said...

Ha! Yes I wanted to do the same thing. Just as well we were perfectly ladylike! :)

Anonymous said...

Are you allowed to send macarons form France to Australia ? They look sexy !