Wednesday, March 30, 2011

How to Enjoy Macarons in Paris

The first night that Nick and I were in Paris, we stumbled into one of Georges Larnicol's shops, simply because it happened to be open. The shop had shelves and shelves of amazing chocolate sculptures and the walls were lined with bulk bins filled with various confections. They also sold petit macarons, which were exactly what we were looking for. They were being sold by weight at 4.50€ for 100 grams, which roughly translates to 70¢ each here, or a pretty sweet deal. Since there are a couple Maison Larnicol locations near Metro stops in central Paris, they became our go-to for macarons throughout the trip. We tried a handful of different flavors, with our favorites being the chocolate and the natural (plain marzipan) flavors. They were everything I'd hoped a macaron in Paris would be.

For comparison, we also tried a chocolate macaron at the world-famous Ladurée. The setting was much more posh, the macaron was a much higher price point, and we thought the Larnicol chocolate macaron was better. The chocolate is really brought to the forefront in the Larnicol macaron whereas in the Ladurée version, it seemed more like a macaron lightly flavored with chocolate.

In conclusion, my guide for how to go about enjoying macarons in Paris is as follows.
  • You still have to go to Ladurée and try at least one for yourself. The ornate interior at the Champs-Élysées location is already an experience.
  • Try one from the neighborhood bakery near wherever you are staying. Paris is all about appreciating how self-contained the neighborhoods are.
  • Get your fix at Maison Georges Larnicol where for a pocket full of Euro change you can get a handful of mini treats. Swing by on your way to a picnic, stock up on them as snacks for a day of sightseeing, and grab one last bag for the plane ride home.

| Photo Credit: Me. |

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