The Macaron Party

The Macaron Party

January 3, 2014  |  featured, food & drink, san francisco

Les Macarons – these delicious, mouthwatering French cookies – are sold everywhere these days. You can find them even at Whole Foods… as a version of macarons but not the real thing. Our palettes must be evolving towards refined treats, and the trends are definitely keeping up. So, I organized a Christmas Macaron Party to enjoy, savor, compare and indulge in the art of culinary fun. I went to San Francisco and bought macarons from Chantal Guillon, La Boulange, Miette and Le Marais Bakery. There are many more stores that sell macarons, but I couldn’t go to every one, so I had to choose. Macaron party I have to admit I love macarons. I can easily finish a box of 6 in a total of 2 minutes. I would keep going if it weren’t for my higher self reminding me that I’d better control my emotions and my gluttony and think about my waist line. Well, I could always use a corset to give the illusion that I am slimmer than I am. But – I have to admit – I love myself more than I love macarons. Macarons are made with eggs, almond flour, sugar and (usually) food coloring. For the most part, they are gluten free, which makes them ultra popular. They are also beautiful, delicate, dreamy, and come in interesting flavors. This blog link has a good recipe for a green tea macaron.

The round melting meringue-based confection is reported to have been introduced to France by Catherine de Medici’s private Italian chefs when she married Henri II de France. But nowadays the macaron is known as a French creation. It was brought back to fame in the early 20th century by the Parisian pastry shop Ladurée.

At our party, we found that Miette makes great macarons with the right balance of texture, taste, and sweetness. Miette uses only organic ingredients and no food coloring. Their macarons have natural colors and a short shelf life (up to 3 days). We tasted the rose macaron, which smelled like rose water. The flavor was present and consistent in the shell and the taste. The chocolate mousse was crunchy but firm, with balanced sugar and texture. The orange macaron had a hint of orange, with a fine and subtle taste. Miette macarons Miette Store La Boulange is a pioneer in making macarons famous in San Francisco. We liked the texture of their macarons and their strong aromas. The rum raisin macaron was firm, crunchy, and flavorful. You could easily smell the rum. The Nutella had the taste of hazelnuts (as it should), was thick, textured and not too sweet. The Pistachio is one of my favorites. It tasted like vanilla, frangipani, and it tasted sweeter than the others.

La Boulange

Chantal Guillon’s lovely store is located on Hayes Street and is entirely devoted to the art of macarons. Her macarons are beautifully presented and packaged. We tasted her green tea macaron, which was delicate and soft. It had a subtle taste, but it didn’t taste like green tea. The Persian rose had a very strong rose flavor, but the macaron itself didn’t have the aroma of a rose. We found both macarons to be very sweet, and a sweet aftertaste lingered on our palettes. The caramel was pretty and tasted good. The aftertaste was saltier, which we enjoyed.

Chantal Guillon macarons Chantal Guillon store When I went to Le Marais on Chestnut Street to buy some macarons, it was the end of the day and they only had three left. So I bought the chocolate caramel. The macaron had a very distinctive texture. It was crumbly, a little chewy, with a strong caramel flavor. The feeling was smooth and gooey. We enjoyed it very much and regretted that we couldn’t taste any other flavors. According to staff, they only make a few flavors at a time, including chocolate mint. Caramel Le Marais Le Marais Bakery The delicacy of the macarons invites you to savor them one by one. We enjoyed every bite we took and had a lot of fun comparing and admiring them. If you have tasted other macarons in The City or beyond, leave us a comment. We would like to know about your experience.

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  1. What a great idea for a party. The bakery in the photos is beautiful as well as the macarons!

  2. Thank you for visiting my site! Glad you appreciate my green tea macarons! Love your blog post. We have a bakery called La Boulangerie and they also have macarons. I’ve visited SF once before, and I must say there are lots of good eats! You have a wonderful city.

  3. Oh…I love French macarons 😀 and from the sound of your description, I’d really like Miette’s macarons. Especially since it reminds of how my fave Midtown Sacramento sweet spot Ginger Elizabeth Chocolates makes theirs -> -> you should try them if you’re ever in Sacramento :-) And now I know which place to get macarons that I’m most likely to like best, since I prefer no food colorings = Miette’s!

    • Vera…

      Owner of Andy’s Candy Apothecary (on 9th off J St in Sacramento) gave rave reviews of Miette’s Macarons, so now I must really try them. I would go their Oakland spot. Also newish on the San Fran macaron scene is Charles Chocolates, theirs are small batches/handpiped and all natural as well -> They don’t make a big deal online about selling macarons, but I’ve asked Yelp reviewers their opinion on them, and they all say they’re really good 😀 So I must try Miette’s and Charles Chocolates macarons when I’m in San Fran/Oakland next :-)

      • Miette are my favotites because they are not too sweet. They have a shop also in the Ferry Building!
        Let me know what you think! I haven’t tried Charles’s macarons. I thought that they made only chocolates. La Boulange also has good macarons.

  4. A macaron party is such a sweet idea ! I like it !
    You have to try macarons from L’Artisan Macaron (
    They are producing macarons in SF since 2006 in the respect of the French style and with only natural ingredients.
    They are available at WholeFoods Market and other gourmet stores.
    Don’t hesitate to contact them for more information!

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