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March 20: Free Macarons in Paris

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Photos by Nichole Robertson

Macaron lovers rejoice. March 20 is the Jour du Macaron in Paris. This annual celebration, dreamed up five years ago by the famed pâtissier Pierre Hermé, finds pastry shops giving their meringue-y little delights away for free.

Jour de Macarons

Customers are encouraged to make a charitable donation on their way out the door. It’s a sweet idea in celebration of spring and in support of research to treat rare diseases.

The crowds will be large this Saturday at Pierre Hermé, with fans lining up to choose any three of his famous macarons. Tempting flavors for spring 2010 include white truffle with grilled hazelnut and foie gras with chocolate, along with traditional favorites like coffee, caramel, and three kinds of vanilla. But Hermé isn’t the only one sharing his cookies…

Jour de Macarons

> For a list of participating pâtisseries, continue reading at Budget Travel.

> For a report on last year’s celebration, check out Dorie Greenspan’s post here.

Catch more of Meg Zimbeck’s fabulous writeups here and here.

View more of Nichole Robertson’s stunning photos here.

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Looking for a fabulous vacation rental in Paris, Provence, or Tuscany? Check out Haven in Paris.

Posted in Food | 2 Comments »

Pierre Hermé or Ladurée? Paris’ Macaron War Rages On

Picture 1paris-hotel-lautrec.com

If you’ve spent even a small amount of time in Paris, you know that the macaron is ubiquitous. And in a city of fastidious eaters, it’s significant that a single dessert has managed to win the hearts and minds of so many. But the debate rages on: who produces the best macaron of all? While Dalloyau and Lenôtre both make a commendable run at it, everyone knows that there are only two real contenders.

In one corner, we have the elegant and established Ladurée, which has been turning out sweet confections since 1862. And in the other corner, we have upstart Pierre Hermé, the enfant terrible of the dessert world who worked at Ladurée before setting out on his own. (Word on the street is that the “oppressive” traditions at Ladurée were preventing him from exploring the crazy flavor combinations for which he is now world famous). Naturally, we wanted to get in on the debate, so Sarah (another Hip Paris blogger) and I gathered some friends last week for a comprehensive taste test. Two boxes of macarons later, we reached a nearly unanimous verdict! Continue Reading »

Posted in Food | 35 Comments »

Ode to Marrons Glacés

marronsPhotos: epiceriedecharles.fr and recette.cuisine.notrefamille.com

Text by Simone Blaser

This Christmas, we’re indulging in a holiday treat that is both delicious and oh-so-French: the marron glacé. That’s code for glazed chestnuts—gooey nuggets of pure holiday joy. When done wrong, they are overpoweringly saccharine; but at their best, they have a nutty and subtle sweetness so delicate and modest, it’s no wonder they gained popularity in Louis XIV’s court at Versailles. Continue Reading »

Posted in HiP Recipes | No Comments »