Sorry for the recent unannounced hiatus from blog entries, my friends. I didn’t mean to deprive you of Parisian sweets; I’ve just been sorting some things out here in the pâtisserie scene. With “changes” at some of the shops, the corrupting influence of hefty discounts and freebies, the realization that Jacques Genin and Emmanuel Ryon set the quality bar too high, and as the product of a few other factors, I thought it best to take a little breather. But rest assured some awesome amazingness is on the horizon for you. For I’ve also been collaborating with Un Dimanche à Paris to create the first great peanut butter, chocolate and caramel pastry ever in The City of Light. That’s right. Peanut butter, chocolate and caramel. It’s never existed in Paris (don’t quote me on that) . . . but it’s just debuted in Un Dimanche with the eponymous moniker of “Le Péché d’Adam”, and I’ll be sharing it here next Wednesday. More info to come!
For now, I thought it best to restart my reviews with not only Pierre Hermé, but with a Pierre Hermé macaron that happens to be my favorite Pierre Hermé macaron ever. I’ll always have fond memories of strolling into PH, after my morning coffees/teas at Coutume, purchasing a Montebello and a croissant Ispahan, then getting slipped a couple of these little ones gratuit. Could there be a fonder pastry-based memory? I think not. So let’s dig in…
The first time I saw these guys in the case, with their tag reading “vanille, rose, et clou de girofle”, I was certain I’d like 2/3 of the flavors and not so sure how delicious a giraffe’s clou was going to be. But that’s just because I’d never seen “clou de girofle” referenced for a pastry/macaron and was a bit too liberal in how to Anglicize girofle. It turns out it has nothing to do with giraffes (unfortunately!); it’s just the French people’s much more awesome word for clove. Biting in to the mac, however, it’s not the first note you get a whiff of; that would be the rose. But then the clove gently sweeps in and goes, “Mmmm, spicy!” Together with the vanilla, the trio of parfums plays out in a wonderfully smooth crème. The totality of the experience can only be summed up as . . . intoxicating. These are the type of macs you can eat a dozen of in one sitting. They’re that perfectly balanced and perfectly tasty.
Oddly, I didn’t go for the Jardin Secret immediately upon its release. I kept making Monsieur Hermé’s team give me the Mogador and some of my other favorites. But when I finally ventured into the Jardin Secret, everyone on the Pierre Hermé rue Bonaparte team quickly knew not to even ask what mac I’d like. I’d just pay at the register, walk out with my Montebello and croissant and look down in the bag to find a duo of Jardin Secret macarons stashed in there. Can you imagine freebie macarons magically appearing in your bag every time you leave a store? There’s nothing better. All stores should do it. And when I say that I mean even Ladurée should stick the PH Jardin Secret in your bag!
So, yes, absolutely grab a a huge box of the Jardin Secret macaron . . . if they ever reappear in the case. It’s going to be a while no matter what, as Monsieur Hermé is slowly working through his “Jardin” fascination, month-after-month, one macaron flavor at a time. I believe there are 10 or 12, and he’s only at the halfway point now. But, really, has there ever been a more tastily grueling slog?