Saturday, July 26, 2014

Magnificent Macarons

Macaron: A sweet meringue-based confection made with eggs, icing sugar, granulated sugar, almond powder or ground almond, and food colouring - Wikipedia. It's almost 4,000 miles to Paris; but these two "sisters in urban design" and respective world capitals seem a heck of a lot closer. You can thank folks like Pierre L'Enfant for narrowing the gap; but I prefer to tip my hat to croissants, éclairs and macarons... some of which take center stage in our humble corner triangle of the world. Let's see who's up to par.

La Tomate Caffè: Only a dollar a pop, it's tempting to order every color in the house; but one doesn't want to appear greedy, especially when purchasing macarons in an Italian eatery. Does the 2006 World Cup Final ring any bells? Zidane's infamous headbutt? Am I the only one who holds a grudge? Seriously though, they're darn tasty... even if they are a bit on the small side. 1701 Connecticut Avenue, NW, Washington, DC.

Grade: B

La Tomate Caffè's macarons

Malmaison: Three for a fiver at the Taste of Georgetown. Their Pistachio (green) becomes the current champion (so far) with Raspberry's "jelly roll" taste-a-like not far behind. The largest of the three - Lemon fails miserably (almost bitter) but two out of three ain't too shabby. Toss in superb packaging (the box alone, probably costs a buck or so) and I can overlook their relatively tiny size. Not quite Paris in a box, but darn close. 3401 K Street, NW, Washington, DC.

Grade: B+

Macarons from Malmaison

Olivia Macaron: Beautiful digs, and darn tasty macarons too. Served nice & cold (technically chilled) for 2 bucks a pop, both feature very sweet filling. The almond tastes like almond, and the lemon tastes even better. Great packaging too. 3222 M Street, NW, Washington, DC.

Grade: B

Almond and Lemon (top) Macarons from Olivia Macaron

PAUL: I stopped by PAUL's new Metro Center digs and forked over $5.45 for a Large Macaron in Pistachio. Before you scoff at the price, keep in mind... this is a giant macaron. It looks and feels substantial, with a perfect combination of chewy, crunchy and lots of sweet filling. Our new favorite, I may never buy a pint-sized macaron ever again. 555 13th Street, NW.

Grade: A- (Only negative is the price.)

PAUL's Large Macaron (Pistachio)