Trends often change frequently in the kitchen and in bakeries: New York cronuts or liquid nitrogen ice cream. Only one trend seems to never lose followers, especially in Paris: macarons. Small shells of almond powder with a delicate soft stuffing made with the fanciest flavors, often sold in boxes that remind us of those from jewelry stores. It’s because the joy they give you is similar to the one you get when receiving a ring, but unfortunately it ends right away.
So, if you want to enjoy the pleasure of trying all the best sweets of Paris, we’ll take you to discover some bakeries that have turned this passion into art.
Pierre Hermé (more than one store, the main one is on 18 rue Sainte-Croix-de-la-Bretonnerie).
To talk about this pastry and not mention him would be absurd. Heir of a top bakers line, it’s said that he was the one the lead macarons to their worldwide success, gaining the nickname “Picasso of pastry”. Of course, his flavors are the most extravagant: from miso and lemon to Iucuma (a curious Peruvian fruit) and candied ginger. Obviously, the prices are as high as the quality, but it’s totally worth it.
Ladurèe (seven stores in Paris, the main one is on 14 rue de Castiglione).
Their recipe has never changed (since the middle of 20th century), but the flavors are very impressive, especially lately, since former starred chef Claire Heitzler became the international creative director of Ladurèe, and so the seasonality and the quality of the ingredients have become the core of their products. It’s interesting to find out that Ladurèe has stores everywhere, and that all of its macarons are made in Switzerland, “blocked” (during the cooling time after baking) and awakened by the bakery pastry chef. Except for the French and Paris’s ones: those are made in a laboratory just outside the city. So, it’s definitely better to try them while you are in Paris.
Sadaharu Aoki (more than one store, the main one is a boutique on Port-Royal 56 boulevard de Port-Royal).
If the classic fruity and flower flavors bore you and you prefer an oriental twist, this is surely the most interesting place. In this bakery, the famous chef is Japanese: he switches from classic flavors maniacally perfect cooked, to the absolute creativity of the umeboshi (salted Japanese plum) macarons or wasabi-horeseradish macarons. You may also find his creations at fashion events and shows where he is of course highly requested.
Carette (4 Place du Trocadéro 75016).
Very close to the Tour Eiffel, this ancient bakery, opened in 1927 by Jean and Medeleine Carette, has a classic and less sophisticated style than the others. Flavors are those of tradition, with some curious impulses (like the violet flavor), still maintaining a traditional standard. The service is cosy and informal, and the prices are slightly lower than usual (also on the box sets). All of their carte sucré is incredible tasty, but the Délice aux framboise – a very big vanilla macaron filled with crème brûlée, pistachios and fresh raspberries – is a “can’t miss”.