A number of Pierre Hermé’s pastries are just amazing. The Tarte Vanille, Tarte Fine Porcelana, Céleste, Surprise, Constellation, Croissant Ispahan, and Montebello must be enjoyed as part of a life well-lived. And those are just the ones currently in the case. In fact, I love them so much I just now bumped Pierre Hermé’s shop up my Best Pastry Shops in Paris list – to #5. Were I to do a Best Pastry [Shop] Chefs in Paris list, ignoring the other factors I weighed-in to that list and focusing purely on the body of work, I’d put him in at #3 or #4. For the record, Jacuqes Genin is #1, because his quality so vastly exceeds everyone else that to suggest he be anything but #1 is heresy.
For all my love of Hermé, you know I still don’t understand the fascination with his macarons. I’ll spare any overarching negative commentary on them [for the next 10 seconds], and instead say that I enjoy a few of them more than the others, among them – the Macaron Infiniment Pistache!
When you first bite into this little one, you’ll notice that the crème is relatively firm . . . but gives way almost instantly to a dreamy smoothness. The texture of the shell, too, is quite spot-on and helps make for a classic macaron mouth-feel. I’m even willing to let the “extra” filling in this, relative to other macarons in the city, slide; it works well here.
Would I like the sweetness toned down a bit? Yes. Could the pistachio flavor be more pronounced, given that it’s named the Infiniment Pistache? Definitely! Could the shell perhaps be made of, at least in-part, pistachio so that the almond tones didn’t slip in at the end and overpower the pistachio? Yes. And for 1.80 eruos each, could the feet be nice? Yes. But coming back to the positives, on balance, it’s a nice one in his lineup.
I swear to God I’ll be more upbeat about at least one of his macarons in the future. There’s always the Mogador, which is so unique a taste experience that I have a number of kudos to lavish upon Monsieur Hermé.
So, uh . . . yeah, if you’re buying Hermé macarons, then this is nice addition to your assortment. Of course I’d suggest you just refer to the pastries I listed at the start here and opt for those instead. About 100x as interesting as the macarons, they can truly justify a lifelong fascination with Monsieur Hermé’s work.