Those lovely light, creamy confections are everywhere–usually in two sizes. These are the larger–

Some of the most prominent sources:

  • Laduree – Most of their locations seem to have both an enormous selection, as well as a restaurant for tea or for a girly lunch.  Very “white tablecloth.”  I always love to see the gorgeous scarves, handbags and the little dogs that the ladies bring.
  • Paul – These are scattered throughout Paris.  They have wonderful breads, quick sandwiches (on tiny baguettes), quick little quiches and various desserts.  Their macarons are usually sold out by mid-afternoon.
  • Pierre Herme – Their confections are perfection.  Elevating the taste of a macaron with an impeccable presentation.
  • Lenotre – Extremely fine gourmet food source.  Yes, they have macarons, sure.  Their food goes well beyond desserts to gourmet meals.  Some of it looks like fine architecture.

Aside from these larger sources, on any given day you can pass by a dozen small bakeries with gorgeous things inside.  You can see that things have been made by human beings.  Here’s a secret about those little bakeries–they are a source of incredible “fast food”–for about 5 euros you can get an amazingly large sandwich (half is way too much), using amazing cheeses and meat on a fresh little baguette in under a minute.  Add a little more for water, and you begin to question why fried fast food exists.  If you see a line outside one of these, get into that line.

These macarons are from Angelina, an historic restaurant on the Rue de Rivoli in central Paris.  I’ve heard that Coco Chanel used to drop by for tea, as it is just down the street from her shop on the Rue Cambon.  Recall that one of Chanel’s Rouge Coco lipsticks is named for Rivoli?  Yes, this is that Rivoli!   Although the meals are not much different from standard cafe fare, the desserts are noteworthy.  Angelina is best known for its Mont Blanc dessert (reviewed here), but that’s insanely large. Here are their macarons (here, the small size):

I found Laduree’s dessert cookbook in a bookstore, and found several macaron recipes inside:

The recipes are in French and the measurements are in metric.  I don’t care–I will learn!

Some challenges are worth it.

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