I think I’ve found the one.
His name is Pierre.
And he makes the best macarons in the world.
For the longest time, I’d been struggling to find the perfect macaron. What exactly makes a perfect macaron? Is the shell supposed to be hollow and airy? Or dense and chewy? What is the optimum filling to cookie ratio?!
With these questions still floating in my head, I enter the Pierre Hermés store by the Opera House in Paris. I have come here to try the perfect macaron.
The store feels more like a jewelry shop than a place that sells treats. The walls are lined with beautifully wrapped boxes containing some of the world’s fanciest chocolates and confections. As I inch towards the glass countertop in the center of the room, I could sense myself drooling over the jewel-like macarons displayed underneath. With colors ranging from bright yellow to flamingo hot pink, and from glitter dusted to delicately airbrushed, these macarons sure look different from their more traditional-looking Ladurée counterparts.
In fact, Pierre Hermé is the former pastry chef for Ladurée. And since leaving, he has built his own empire and is now highly regarded as the best pastry chef in the world. Around here, people know him as the “Picasso of pastry.” His creative take on traditional French techniques and flavors are what attribute to his worldwide fame.
After scanning the entire selection of macarons for enough time to annoy the cashier girl, I finally settle upon the Ispahan macaron. Rose flavored shells, filled with a litchi cream cheese filling, with a dried raspberry tucked inside. I think I could’ve died happy at that moment.
The Mogador macaron was a good one too. Passionfruit flavored shells filled with a rich dark chocolate ganache. When exotic meets classic, something amazing happens.
The classics are done well too, like really well. To make the Infiniment Chocolate macaron, he sources single-origin cocoa beans from Venezuela. Usually, single-origin applies to chocolate bars or coffee beans. But here in Paris, the concept applies to Pierre Hermé’s macarons.
As I left the shop, it began to rain. A premonition of the sorrow I was about to experience as I finished up the last bite of my tiny piece of heaven. I will say that a visit to Pierre Hermés was the perfect way to wrap up my European adventure. Oh Paris, I hope to see you again.