As someone who has tried on more than one occasion to make my own macarons and failed at it miserably, I appreciate the artistry that goes into these delicate little confections. And though I don’t get to enjoy them often, I savor them when I do. That’s why I jumped at the chance to feature Le Macaron in this issue. A shop that sells nearly only macarons (with just a few other French pastries in the display case) is quite a niche market, but this one has been a rousing success. And we know why.
The bright little confectionery might be a franchise, but you would never believe it by trying their pastries. Each handmade macaron has just the right amount of crunch from the shell and a perfect, creamy burst of flavor from the filling. They’re sugary sweet and, though you’ll probably want to eat the whole case, you’ll find yourself savoring each bite.
The display case in the Cathedral Street shop is a rainbow of colors and flavors. Looking for a little variety, we selected Strawberry Key Lime, Lemon Creme, Green Tea Matcha, Colombian Coffee, and Bubblegum. It’s easy with some pastries to taste only the sugar and miss any real flavor, but the taste of these macarons is as varied as their colors.
Our first choice was the Strawberry Key Lime and despite the expected sweetness of the macaron, the flavor captured a subtle tartness of the lime and the freshness of the strawberry. The Lemon Creme too avoided being overly sweet with a tangy, citrusy taste. I had never encountered matcha before, but the macaron was subtle in its sweetness with an almost earthy flavor.
Colombian Coffee matched its namesake with a robust and nutty undertone hiding behind a chocolatey and caramel sweetness. The Bubblegum tasted like, well, bubblegum – which was unexpected, but surprisingly pleasant.
The macaron is a diverse treat and a perfect vehicle for delicious experimentation with color and flavor. Whether you’re giving a sweet gift or just on the lookout for an afternoon snack, you could hardly go wrong with this rainbow of confectioneries.
Le Macaron is located at 8 Cathedral Place. Visit them online at www.lemacaron-us.com/staugustine.
Photography by Brian Miller.