June 23, 2011 § Leave a comment
Scribbles from a while ago
I was in a kind of anti-macaron phase for a while when the pastries suddenly started popping up at every street corner in every spare bakery fridge space in Hong Kong. I got tired of its sweetness, its sickly sweetness.
Then this morning, my eyes picked out the word ‘macaron’ in mid post-breakfast stroll along west 23rd street, and given the scarcity of macaron availability in Manhattan (thank lord) (as in, relative to other sweet stars like cupcakes and donuts), I decided to pick out several.
Orange chocolate. Blueberry Vanilla. Lavender.
I was lifted back to the queue in Laduree, three years ago. The peek into the empty, dark, glowing Laduree Bar and its art noveau stools as the queue turns, the salespersons bustling around like Christmas elves behind the pastry bar and the rhythmic dance of gloved hands and colorful sweets and pastel green boxes on the counter. Then there was me, frenetically pointing at whatever that looks edible (everything), ordering in broken Fren-glish and nervously trying to look as untouristy as possible (like every other tourist in that queue).
But I came out on Champ-Elysee, alive, with my box of macarons.
Pierre Hermé, once dubbed by French Vogue as ‘The Picasso Of Pastry’, emphasizes that one should “[use] sugar like salt, in other words, as a seasoning to heighten other shades of flavor.”
The morning light from outside the window makes me squint a little. I closed one eye to scrutinize the cross section of the remaining half – the crumbly, cream-colored porous layers, and blueberry icing in between – threatening to melt while I waited for the sweetness from the last bite to die down.
Maybe, something glorious does happen with every pastel bite.
La Maison du Macaron, 132 W 23rd St (between Avenue Of The Americas & 7th Ave) New York, NY 10011
Price: 2.5 USD per macaron
Quote Source: Pierre Hermé website
There are just some songs I can never get tired of…