Macaron Battle: Ladurée vs. Pierre Hermé vs. Gérard Mulot

// Visited: 12.09 – 1.10 //

 

Before we introduce this three-part series, let us briefly discuss the nature of macarons.

What are macarons? Two “o’s” would give us the chewy, candy-sweet coconut domes that we know and love so well in the U.S. But one “o,” well…gives us this:

The macaron as it is known today . . . was created in the early 20th Century by Pierre Desfontaines of the French pâtisserie Ladurée, composed of two almond meringue discs filled with a layer of buttercream, jam, or ganache filling.

Thank you, Wikipedia.

Read my Ladurée review here.

Read my Pierre Hermé review here.

And read my Gérard Mulot review here.

My conclusions:

  • After tasting (too) many macarons, I discovered that my personal perfect ratio of meringue wafer to ganache was represented by the Gérard Mulot macarons, with approximately 1/3 inch of cookie, 1/4 inch of ganache, and 1/3 inch of cookie.
  • Best Classic Macaron: For the “classic” macaron experience, or if you need to take a gift box home to (very good) friends, go to Ladurée.  They won’t be the most delicious macarons you can buy, but no one in your life will complain about getting a pretty box of Ladurée.
  • Most Unusual Flavors: For the most interesting and intense flavors, albeit with a heavier filling, go to Pierre Hermé.  Flavors change with the season.
  • Best Overall: My favorite Parisian macaron, overall, was from Gérard Mulot.  This chain of bakeries also sells other pastries, but don’t let the extensiveness of the menu fool you—this is a top-notch macaron bakery, and in many ways I preferred Gérard Mulot’s macarons to the macarons at the more-famous and fancier Pierre Hermé and Ladurée.

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