Grumpy Monday: I just don't get macarons

Macarons from Ladurée

Despite the fact that I no longer work a 5-day-a-week, 9-to-5 job (it's more like 7 days a week, 5am to 2am, with a nap in between) and weekends no longer are the 2 days of blissful nothingness they used to be, Mondays always make me rather grumpy. And when I'm grumpy, I just feeling like complaining. Too many food blogs are all sunshine and happiness and how delicious the blogger's recipes turn out to be and how beautiful life is and how passionate s/he is about Life. Well, I'm not like that. I have a tendency to always see the bad and good side of everything. And more often than not, I'm a grump.

So anyway, on to the main topic. I just don't get the fuss made over macarons. To paraphrase Gertrude Stein, there's no there there in them.

Macarons have been the It Girls of the food world for the last couple of years. Everyone interested in baking or pastry or even just cooking wants to give them a try. Many people get positively rhapsodical about them. People dream of going to Paris to try the ones from Pierre Hermé, Ladurée, and so on.

Macaron making kit

I've tried, so many times, to like macarons. I do absolutely love the way they look - round, flat, in bright colors, so adorable and chic. But the way they taste and feel in the mouth just make me go, eh?

I do admit to not having the biggest sweet tooth in the world. (If I have to choose between cheese and a dessert to finish a meal, I always go for the cheese. Of course both is preferable.) But that's not to say that I avoid sugary treats - oh no no no. I love good chocolate, adore jam and preserves, am slightly obsessed with trying different flavors of caramel. (The last one I tried was a buttered roasted corn flavored caramel from Hokkaido. Now, that was yum.)

I even love meringues - and a macaron is sort of like a meringue with filling. The highest expression of the meringue to me is that Anglo-Australian concoction, the Pavlova. The combination of crispy-gooey meringue with loads of whipped cream and fresh, slightly sour fruit is just heaven. But macarons? They are just...meh. There's not much balance really, is there - the meringue part is sweet, the filling is sweet, with only a slight hint of sourness or something else in there on occasion. And the mouth tends to stick on ones front teeth, and the crispy-crumbly parts scratch my throat if I bite into one too aggressively.

It's not like I've really tried to like them, really. When I was in Paris last April, I went around determinedly sampling macarons from all the places that are supposed to have great macarons. The ones in the photo below are from Sadaharu Aoki's boutique. They are sort of like Jessica Alba - beautiful, just gorgeous, but not much on the inside. (Disclaimer: I have no idea how intelligent Ms. Alba is, but she sure isn't a great actress.)



Last fall Ladurée opened a small store in Zürich. I hadn't gotten around to trying them out yet, but last week I did. Again, they are just gorgeous things, these macarons. But worth the equivalent of $12.60 per 100 grams?

Macarons from Ladurée

Frankly, I'd rather walk over to Sprüngli at Paradeplatz and buy some of their to-die-for Cru Sauvage chocolate truffles. Sprüngli also has their version of macarons, called Luxemburgerli..also pretty, also sort of nothing there there. But they are very popular.

I have a feeling that at least part of the rapture over macarons has as much to do with how people feel about Paris as anything else. Macarons are so pretty, elegant, and seem for Parisian. So it becomes part of the whole Paris fantasy thing.

Many trendy macarons taste like something else. For instance, the one I liked the best from Ladurée tastes like salted caramel, which is nice. I also had one at Eleven Madison in New York that tasted like buttered popcorn, also very nice. But to be honest, I'd much rather have the real salted caramel, or real buttered popcorn. The macarons are just pretty little pretenders.

Champagne macaron

How do you feel about macarons? Am I a total philistine for dissing them? Is there any other 'trendy' food that you feel like this about?

Filed under:  grumpy monday things i don't like

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I have never actually eaten a macaron. But I've just never understood why I might want to. I admit that I find myself highly suspicious of foods that seem capable of being any color or flavor. Surely the real thing is better?
These days macarons seem to be everywhere. So it's nice to know that my long held suspicions may not be entirely unfounded.

I am French and here macarons are really appreciated (ladurée, Pierre Hermé,...). But I am just like you, I don't really like macarons, I am not fond of it at all. I don't know why people like them so much, but I can't get to like them... I am really fond of sweet stuffs, so I am not sure this is the reason why you don't like them... Anyway, don't feel guilty about not liking them, you're surely not the only one to not like thme that much (i'm here ;P).

Love the comparison to Jessica Alba. I *like* macarons, but definitely don't *love* them. In Taiwan, I visited Sadaharu Aoki's little store (in the basement of a mall) and they were outrageously expensive!

I went to Paris for the first time last year and visited Ladurée when I had the chance to buy a box of macarons. They look a lot better than they taste =P

I first tried macarons in Vienna, at one of the Weihnachtsmaerkte (hihi, I love bending languages), and I loved them, they weren't sticky, nor too crunchy, they nearly melted in my mouth. So last weekend we went to a famous little confectionery here in Hungary, and tried their macarons, but they were rather chewy, and tasted too sweet.

So when it comes to macarons, I'm nor an adorer, nor an opposer. I think it really is a very trendy thing, and as such, is highly overrated.

Pavlova is from NZ, or possibly Australia if you are speaking to an Aussie :)

Never heard of the English having much claim to it, apart from liking to eat it of course.

Aussies (myself included) have a habit of claiming things that are good if they come from New Zealand.
ie Pavlova & Russel Crowe.

Im sure the kiwis realise its just our way of showing affection to our neighbours :)


So I guess you must be from NZ then? Everyone knows they are Australian :p

Pavlovas are definitely from NZ. But you can keep Russell Crowe :)

I have to completely agree with you on this one.. Macarons look gorgeous and adorable, but I've never liked the taste. Maybe they're just too sweet. I buy them as gifts because so many people seem to like them and it's a nice change from giving chocolate, but I'll never buy them for myself.

love macarons! to each his own :)

De-lurking to say that I totally agree!! I just don't get what the big fuss is over them either!

I like macarons! But it's not the best delicacy and prices are realy expensive. It's a "phénomène de mode" and something easy to sell or keep in a refrigerated shop-window (not like other cake with cream). I prefer millefeuille or another french pastry.
Marie from Dijon

I will be the first macaron defender! I really like them and the number one reason is the texture. I like the chewiness - it's a texture that cannot be found in any other treat. They're light but still flavorful and there are so many flavors to try. I enjoy experiencing the inventiveness of each maker -- they do a great job of this in Japan, I think. I do agree that they're getting way more attention than they need - it's just snack! I guess it just comes down to personal preference - I don't really *get* truffles. They're much too rich for me and I can't tell the difference between them all!

I don't mind good macaroons but they're very, very rare. Generally I have only encountered the variety which a wet in the middle. Not a positive textural experience.
However, the best macaroons I've tasted were about texture rather than taste. The layers were all of a very similar taste but the different types of chewy between the inside of the meringue and the ?fondant? were the main highlights.
That said I expect that they are a treat for those who really like sweets and view a chocolate croissant as almost savoury rather than those who do not.

Having tasted store bought and made macarons myself, I am totally with you. I really just don't get it. They're overly sweet, with a powdery crust and sticky centre, and the only saving grace is, to be honest, the filling, if I'm lucky and get something decent in the centre. And the fuss that goes into making them... I really just can't be bothered to buy, make or eat them anymore. Just goes to prove, pretty looks does not necessarily mean yumminess.
Give me a good dessert, cake, cookie or chocolate anyday.

Speaking of that, there seems to be a current obsession with baked goods like cookies and scones of late in Hong Kong. I don't get it. Sure, the boutique ones probably aren't loaded with the usual additives, preservatives and colourings, But they really don't taste that great. Often they're either dry, or almost tasteless. I've had better homemade ones (by amateurs).

I did not like macarons the first time I tasted them. After seeing the macarons being kitchen tested and the rave reviews triumphantly posted on some foodies' blog I gave them another go. I still didn't like them and wondered if something was wrong with my taste buds, now I know I am not alone!

I didn't like macarons the first time I tasted them. After seeing macarons being kitchen tested and the rave reviews triumphantly posted on some blogs, I gave them another go. I still didn't like them and wondered if something was amiss, now I know I am not alone!

I don't like macarons either, they are very pretty to look at, but I just don't like sweetness! There are many cute and pretty cakes in France and they taste much much better.
P from UK

i enjoy your detailed descriptions of types of foods or products so much it makes me grin while reading. And regarding the macarons, youre speaking my mind so pretty, yet such a disappointing bite. In the macaron's defense though: You probably have to be a sweet-tooth to truly love them.

People who shudder at a dry mouthful of pure sweetness, the little macaron can be so pretty, it wont help it.

I love good macaroons with a cup of bitter coffee, otherwise they tend to be too sweet for me. They are goey but light and subtly nutty, but I think your right that they're not really quite as good as pepole make them out to be. They're cute and pretty, but so are cupcakes (which seem to be loosing favour now, such a shame), fancies, small cookies, bonbons and a whole host of far more versatile foods.

That said, I wan't to try making macaroons. I make a lot of ice cream, and need lots of recipies to use up spare egg whites.

I guess the macaron craze just hasn't hit the US yet, but cupcakes are all the rage and have been for a bit too long. I am truly sick of the cupcakes though. I recently got a thank you card written in the voice of a 1 year old saying how cute and delicious her mom's cupcakes were (when did tooting one's own horn become okay to do in a thank you card?), and I just found it incredibly lame.

I will be using my cupcake liners for bentos and peanut butter cups thank you very much. They are just miniature cakes anyways.

Hmm, if you read sites like Serious Eats macarons are quite popular in the US too...or is it just in NY? I certainly seem to see many food bloggers raving about them though.

I think they are more popular in NY. It seems here in Los Angeles, cupcakes and food trucks are the major things right now.

I agree...cupcakes are much more popular in So. Cal.
When I go to the bakery, I always look at and admire how macarons are, and then order Tres Leches or red velvet CUPCAKE. Hahahah...I had no clue how macarons supposed to be like, but I have some idea now after reading the comments. Will try next time...

Macaroons have a filling? I've always made them with egg whites and either almonds or shredded coconut folded in. I like them because I can make them low-carb for a little treat with coffee.

You are probably thinking of macaroons, which are a bit different from the French macaron that I'm talking about here.

I've never had one, mostly because I don't get them. I think they look unsatisfying... if I were to eat one, I think my mouth would be expecting something cookie-ish. I make meringues on their own now and then and, while pleasant, they are nothing like cookies... also, the bright colours kind of put me off. The first time I saw a photo of macarons, my first thought was "are those real? Like is that actual food?" They don't look edible.

I went to Paris, about two months ago, and did get macarons (and a few other delicious things) at Ladurée. I found, however, that I liked them better after a few days as they dried out a bit (total heresy, right?). The violet and blackcurrant was my favorite.

According to an interview by Pierre Herme, it's best to eat macarons 3 to 5 days after making them, so that the cream permeates the crust. So I suspect it was actually much better after the wait!

I have not tried the macarons pictured here, but have long wondered how they are different from the cookies made with egg whites and shredded coconut that are gluten free, and which I adore. Can you shed light on the difference? If I ordered macarons in a resturaunt and was give the cookies you photographed I would be VERY disappointed.

Monica - the cookies you refer to are commonly called American Macaroons outside of the USA. French Macarons also contain eggwhite and are gluten free, but use finely ground almond meal instead of the coconut. They're also filled, either with jam, a creme patisserie (like eclairs are), or a citrus-y sweet paste thickened with cornflour.

I recently did a cooking course on how to make macarons and they included the American version. Very yummy but totally different.

Hope this clears that up.

I love when bloggers inject their personal voice, keep on grumping! I've never had a macaron but they look chalky, can I draw a mural on the street with the rainbow colored ones, I ponder...

I'm with you on macarons. I don't get the big deal. I know it is a big deal if you master it but personally, I don't like the taste. My friend told me it was the one I had but personally I don't think I like them at all.

I also find them meh and have no idea what all the fuss is about, and I *love* sweets. Gimme a daifuku over a macaron anyday. Same with the whole bacon thing, I mean, I like bacon but bacon toffee and stuff, gross.
I like to blog about nice things but I blog about the bad I'm feeling it too, no point in faking it.

I love how you compare macaroons to paris. it fits perfectly! made me laugh :)

maybe the supposed difficulty in making them accounts for some of the charm. they do look like little gems.

Well... I like them quite a lot, but then again, I love anything that includes almond meal among the ingredients :-) I like the contrast between the brittle crust and the moistness inside. But they are not my favorites!

The pretty colored ones are "macarons parisiens", the ones I REALLY love are the kind I find in marketplaces in the Seine-et-Marne, the countryside east of Paris. They are quite simple, no filling, basically made of almond meal, sugar, egg whites and a flavoring ingredient (my favorite is pistachio).

They are chewier, less sweet, and are simply DELICIOUS. The last ones I've tried were these :

There are also the delicious macarons de Nancy... Argh, my sweet tooth is aching now :-)

Im not a fan of macarons either but I do love a good pavlova. Great thing for me is my local cake shop sells pav so if i get the urge to eat one I cna go and buy. I tried to cook one once but it was a dismal failure.
I wonder if that makes me Un-Australian

The macaron phase will pass and everyone will be oohing and ahhing over some other horribly expensive but ultimately tastless food item.


I haven't eaten a macaron yet. Like you said, they are very visually appealing so I still want to try one.
Everyone is all about store bought, sheet cake where I work because they hold monthly company wide birthday parties. I indulge occasionally but it's not my cup of tea.

In my mind, macaroons are overrated, but I can't judge since I've never tasted them. They just don't look delicious to me. They look like something small children would eat or play with. Maybe I should give them a chance, but I won't go out of my way to get some. They really do not look very appetizing to me...

I have only had a few shop bought macarons in my life. I didn't really get them either. The first couple I had were sticky sweet and I wasn't sure if there was something wrong with me for not appreciating them when there was all that hype.

Since then the only macarons I had were at Nobu (Melbourne) and Tetsuya's (Sydney) as a petit four and those were lovely. They didn't stick to your teeth and since they were nice and small, I didn't get that sugar rush.

But I made my first batch this weekend. They were rough and not as delicate as the ones you see in shops, but they weren't sticky/sickly sweet either. (Perhaps I made them wrong!) As someone who doesn't like piping that much, they're a [expletive] to make, but I think they're alright. Not raving evangelist good, but as someone who likes cooking/baking, they're good and fun.

I know I only feel defensive because I made a batch just a couple days before this post. o_O

I love them for their colours, but I'm right with you when it comes to flavour. The only kind I'm madly in love with is caramel and sea salt.

Love it when they're ordered in the shops via colour. Makes me swoon!

well...i confess,i do love macarons haha...I can get them in Hong Kong at several place,being my favourite the ones at Robuchon.I lived in switzerland (lugano) for some years and i am one of those weirdos who doesnt like chocolate with just one exception: Lindt Baton Kirsch!!!lucky i could find those last year in HK too :)

I've never tried macarons, but England has absolutely been going crazy over them lately! Jay Rainer said they'd be the next big thing in England and he was right.

I'm also the slightly grumpy type sometimes, which is why I like reading your blog. I see a lot of food blogs via food gakwer where people spend hours talking about grandparents/parents/children etc. They also post 50-11 pictures of said people along with how beautiful/wonderful/cute everything is. Food gets a small mention at the bottom of the page or even worse -- a LINK to a website that has the recipe!

It's OK to be grumpy. I like that, and I agree with you. Macarons are overrated, and have become somehow something snobish and very expensive.
And, let's be realistic : macarons are NOTHING compared to daifuku. I am just back from a vacation in Japan, and daifuku were my most amazing culinary discovery. With my friends, we ranked them among the 10 most delicious things ever. I wish I could find more different daifuku in Paris...

I always wondered how they taste like... they taunted me, looking all colourful and delicious. So I bought some. One of each to make sure I wouldnt miss any flavour. Well, I still have them because I stopped after the first one. They are better to be looked at. Like you said, they get stuck in your teeth and are way too sweet. Though I really love sweets I dont get macarons either.

Thank you, thank you, thank you.

I don't think I've been to lately when there hasn't been at least two or three front-page images of f$@$%ing macaroons. I get it, they look pretty and make you feel all accomplished at cooking. But like you pointed out - ultimately they have no 'bite' and are pretty boring in the taste department.

Be grumpy! I also think macarons are better for sticking on the wall then putting into the mouth. They're lovely looking but they're not food and nothing like the delicious coconut macaroons. I am so over the food trends that get beaten to death, especially in the blogosphere. I know you love ramps, Maki (I like them, too), but they're one of the big ones at the moment. It's just that hearing everyone gush over any food, rapt with excitement, makes me want to stop eating it (okay, that's an exaggeration). Pimentón, is another example. I like food blogs to be more real - triumphs and failures, exotic, mundane and everything else. I can go to a restaurant or read the NYT, The Times, etc. to get boutique food snobbery.

This foodie-anti-foodie manifesto makes some interesting points, though just the word 'foodie' makes my eyes water.

I liked your Jessica Alba comparison ... I've always been a bit underwhelmed by macarons.

All i can think of now is how much I want to try 'buttered roasted corn flavored caramel' :)

I actually tried macarons about 5 years ago at a catered party. Everyone called them macaroons, because they weren't popular enough for anyone to know better yet and I figured they were the non-coconut kind. Anyway, I really liked the pistachio flavoured ones. I think these had been accidentally put in the fridge, because they were a bit chewy in addition to not that sweet; both of which I liked. However, I would never, never, never buy marcons for the price!

I like them. Not OMG-best-thing-ever but I like a good macaron or 3 on occasion (they're too expensive to have often anyway). Next to their looks I mainly like their texture (light, soft, and the filling seems to melt away) and intense pang of flavour. I haven't had Ladurée or Pierre Hermé ones yet, but my favourites so far are from Jean Paul Hévin (also has a chain of Paris stores). I wouldn't get supermarket ones, they seem easy to mess up if not made properly.

I do think you're right about how people adore them since they remind them of Paris. I guess that could be the case for me too... on the other hand I probably wouldn't still be eating them just as reminders if I didn't like their taste. Let's call the memories an extra bonus.

Not so long ago, whilst enjoying tea at my favourite tea shop another customer gave me a macaron. This was how I learned that Pierre Herme now has a concession in London. The main flavour was passionfruit... oh, it was delicious!

For our wedding anniversary, my husband and I bought every flavour (I think there were 12 that day) and shared each one of them together. A few were just... nice. Some of them were sublime, particularly some of the flavours we wouldn't have ordinarily chosen, like jasmine.
My conclusion is that good macarons are a blend of confectionery and perfumery. A soft, pillowy, ephemeral platform for exquisite base oils and flavours. Anything less than the very finest essential oils/fruits/flavours is going to be disappointing.
There's a gorgeous fragrance partly designed by Jane Birkin called L'air de rien. That's a great name for macarons. And just as with perfumery, what's sensational for one person can be cloying or imperceptible for another.

I have never tried them and I don't want to honestly. They just look pretty and too sweet to me. I've been to Laduree in Paris and I just bought some delicious Kouign Amann, avoiding all the people clamouring around the macarons. ;)

I never got the big deal of macaroons either =/ I've wanted to try it sometimes just to see if they were that really good, but the price always deters me hahahaha.

From your description they don't sound as that extraordinary, so for now I'll keep on passing them.

I like the way they look, they can taste pretty awesome if you do it right, but I'll be damned if I will ever be able to afford to buy a decent amount of them let alone make them! They are just SO HARD!
Having said that, I once went to a dinner in France and indulged in the most delectable homemade chocolate and foie gras macaroons...they were to die for. Never going to buy them again

I like macaroons but I do think they are a bit overrated...I also think there are a lot of bad macaroons out there. The ones I've had are a different texture from what you describe, at least they don't stick to your teeth. They were also quite flavorful though I do agree on the sweet-sweet lack of balance...I'd really like to try making my own so I can have some nice tart flavors.

Never tasted macaroons, never seen dem in trinidad ever so I'll have to take your word on that unless I visit paris any time soon. They look kinda good though

I did not expect so many macaron skeptics out there! Hooray, I am not alone. I always felt quite guilty about not liking them, maybe was I missing something? I don't have an extensive experinece on them, and was actually planning to do some with the egg whites currently stored in my fridge. I might change my mind now.
On pavlova: we have a cake made of whipped cream and meringue in Italy, called meringata. I think the cake makers of any country have to come up with some idea of what to do with leftover egg whites :)

[quote=Caffettiera]I think the cake makers of any country have to come up with some idea of what to do with leftover egg whites :)[/quote]
I thought the prevalence of egg white desserts was a Christian country phenomenon. Nuns would use the leftover egg whites from tempera paint production, which used egg yolks for making holy imagery and icons. Perhaps the most famous egg white and almond meringue type desserts in Spain are Suspiros (sighs), particularly Suspiros de Monja (nun's sighs), and Almendrados.

Egg yolk confectionery (like Tocino de Cielo - Heaven's bacon fat) is probably more widespread though as more egg whites were used for wine fining/clarification than what was left over from making tempera paints.

haven't had a macarons that is not overly sweet and crazy expensive...

Huh! This is new to me. I guess what is called macarons haven't made it out here to Northern California as I haven't seen these before. Well at least looking like the ones in those pics.

They just look, to me, like what we call a meringue cookie, with a filling. My brother-in-law's aunt made a great meringue dessert that looked like these, but with barely sweet whipped cream in between and the edge rolled in cinnamon. Those were to die for!

@Caffettiera-That cake sounds a lot like his aunt's cookies only bigger! She was Italian; his whole family is. I know her mama taught it to her and her mama grew up in Calabresia.(sp?)

I also, at first, thought you were talking about macaroons, which I see now is a totally different animal, and which I adore. Guess I'll have to try these when they do show up!

it's just a fad, some smartass french pastry person thought he'd pull a fast one and make a lot of money with his extra egg whites and almond dust.

I cracked up at your Jessica Alba analogy! I always see her in magazines and think about how insanely beautiful she is, and then realize that I haven't seen a single good movie that she's starred in, haha! Macarons aren't too popular in Southern California yet, but I have seen some packaged ones at various Starbucks locations.

I agree. I've had a handful of macarons in my life. They are art. The best I had was in a shop in Lyons, and it tasted like spicy guacamole, with a bit of a sweetness. It was interesting and good, but not great. Guacamole would have been better. Other than the few macarons I bought to try, I bought truffles. The truffles were exquisite.

Macarons are the antithesis of food to me. They are complicated to make, and what you get for the work isn't all that impressive. Beautiful, yes, but not really Food.

Keep on being a grump when you need to. It keeps you who you are!

When all the pretty pictures and such started showing up all over the web a few years ago, I really didn't get the fuss. I mean, they're cute, but cupcakes are cuter (and I don't even like cupcakes much). Not being a huge fan of baked goods, I kind of thought they'd be like a wussy version of a mini-pavlova which would be too dry and would crumble everywhere at the first bite.
Eventually though I bought one during a trip to London. It was a biggun, but it was amazing. I cannot get enough of the crisp shell, the sticky, chewy, cakey, moist interior. The soft filling which has melded with the shells. Also the flavour, which should be almost pungent and overwhelmind, was incredible. It also didn't hurt that it was basically like being punched in the face by sugar.
I am converted!

Well, I never liked macaroons. Never thought that I would read about someone who would actually admit disliking them. =)

I had the opportunity to try macarons several times. Never tried the one in europe, but I have to agree that they look prettier than they taste. I did like the feeling of crunchiness they had, but to be honest, whatever macarons I tried made my tooth ache. They are too sweet. And they leave this kind of sore throat like feeling after you eat them....
So, no... I don't love macarons....

I love, love, LOVE macarons!!! So. Much. But then: a. I have a huge sweet-tooth and b. I can get massive, chocolate ganache-filled ones for a mere $2 at Patrick's Bakery in Richfield, MN. These things are delish, and the ganache is too-die-for.

Sorry folks, I drank the macaron Kool-Aid...

The first time I had a macaron, it was at the Aeroport de Nice's Chez Paul stand. It was pistachio, 5 cm in diametre, with a white chocolate based filling. It was crispy but chewy, refreshing, and that's when I fell in love with macarons. Or so I thought.

Since then, I've tried Laduree's on the Champs Elysee, Pierre Herme's in Tokyo, some random ones in LA and Kansai, and even Starbucks :P. They've all been either dry, overly sweet, flavourless, too flavoured... or just "good, not great." A few I had at Joel Robuchon in Roppongi were the most outstanding of the bunch (yuzu and chocolate), but still nothing compared to my airport macaron!

I feel like I want to stick up for macarons a bit. I made a couple of batches this weekend to take to a party and they were very succesful.

I love the faint crisp (not a snap, not a thud, more of a shudder really) as you bite the coating of the macaron and the chewy but also airy interior. I think the filling can be as exciting as you're willing/ creative to make it. I made two kinds- pink grapefruit buttercream with pink grapefruit jam and cherry jam with dried sour cherry and coconut paste. It was fun coming up with those combos. I made them small enough so that you get that satisfaction of just popping them in your mouth and puffing your cheeks like the naughty treat I suppose they are.

You don't have to colour them artificially, if that puts you off. I used unrefined icing sugar so both lots where a faint golden, but the fillings were naturally colourful and this made them look very enticing.

I never had macarons before but I admit I really would like to try one, not just because they're cute but because I want to see what's so great about them. I REALLY love sweets so im always dying to try new things. I tried making macarons I think once and it turned out really aweful. Im HOPING its because I did them wrong and not because thats how they taste because if thats so it's too overwhelmingly sweet and the texture is unplesant.

but im impressed of your courage to call out on macarons. Alot of foodbloggers tend to make them out like MAGIC. So it's nice to see a different point for when I do find and devour one and feel the same way lol.

I understand the 'am I a Philistine for not liking X' except mine is perhaps even worse than macarons - it's fois gras! People expound upon it, rave about it, swoon at the mere thought. I've tried it once (despite hating liver of any kind) and YUCK. It's horrid horrid stuff.

I've always disliked them too: too sweet! (Even the Ladurée which my French friends thought were lovely when I brought them for after dinner.) Then, a friend living in Paris said: "Try the Pierre Hermé caramel au beurre salé." Yes, utterly amazing.

I absolutely LOVE the way macarons look - I have even made ones out of clay and made jewelry out of them! However, I'm unable to eat sugar so I've never actually tasted one. I've thought about making them myself so I can taste one, though that sounds like a rather daunting task from what I've read. However, I really do think that a lot of the fuss about them has to do with their bright colors and cute appearance, rather than what they taste like. (Though, not having tasted one, I can't *really* attest to that) Unfortunately, I think attractiveness tends to outweigh actual substance in many areas of today's culture.

I always liked macarons, but when I was younger they used to be just brown - and bigger.

Did you know that Sesame Street's Cookie Monster is called "Macaron" in the French version?

LOL, I'm completely with you - my response too is always "eh?" :)

I love meringues. Could eat those till the cows come home but, macarons (or macaroons as we always called them in England), yeah, whatever. And cup cakes too - booooring.

In fact, I can't even imagine bothering to buy them. They're just so blaaaaaah.

(Love your blog and photos, btw).

all I know is, at the Passover bash where I served jewish macaroons (coconut, egg whites, vanilla and lots of sugar-- just like mama took out of the manischewitz can!) my friends said, at last a macaroon/macaron I actually like.

Yay, finally somebody agrees with me and says it. Macarons are lovely to look at, so dainty and colorful, but really, I don´t get it...

I am Portuguese, we have a tradition of really homely, ok ugly cakes. I would take any pastel de nata, or most queijada ( and these are all ugly) over any macarons. And I would go further in heresy, I don´t get cupcakes either. The frosting is usually awful, too buttery ( if we get lucky. if not margarine-y), and just fussy. Now cheesecake, icecream, chocolate, proper pastéis de nata, those are worth obsessing about. Macarons and Cupcakes, meh.

Hi, I totally agree with you about the overrated and expensive French macarons! I also was treated to them in Paris a couple years ago (think it cost $5 or $6 each at the time for the larger size). I'm vegan, but occasionally will forgive some ingredients if I'm out and something looks AND tastes irresistible....however, I won't bend my rules for these. Like Monica, I much prefer the American macaroons, particularly now that I know you can make them with just dates, bananas and coconut, no sugar or egg meringue needed.

I'm sure that the hype over macarons are for its look! Macarons can be sublime if u get it right.... wonderfully creamy filling and nutty meringue that are crisp on the outside and chewy inside. The catch tho is most of them JUST don't get it right at all.... and the ones that do cost the earth.....!

Is that seriously a wasabi flavored macaron in the picture? Ewwww, that sounds horrible! Wasabi isn't meant for sweet things...

I have to defend macaroon but only when they are not stale which most of the ones in the U.S. are and the filling has some substance. There is a bakery in upstate NY where I had a perfect macaroon. The texture was chewy and melty at the same time. The flavor was a deep chocolate. I have not had one since that has compared.

Thanks for bringing this to light - I don't like them either!

I don't get it either. I figure it's the happy colours and the chi-chi-ness of liking a perishable baked good. Three words for you: Hype, hype, hype. Thanks for confirming my suspicions. :)

I like some macarons...but I love is the history of macarons. I was watching a French TV program (Envoye Special) that is sort of like a combination of Frontline and 60 Minutes and loved by all French intelo's, and they had a whole story devoted to the history of macarons. In French fashion, they spent a looong time diluting the minutae of the little tasties which come either from the moors via Spain or via the arabs, through the Ottomans, via Vienna and to France. Basically, they are a distant cousin of arab sweets that are based on nuts and honey and VERY sweet. So if it is strange to your palete, it is because of this, I think. Look up the history, and see how you feel. They may taste better eaten like arab sweets - one or two, with tea, no sugar. Not eaten like a cookie or a cake.
I came to your blog to search for apricot jam recipe. I like your blog! I live in Switzerland, so also relate to your stories re Zurich, Sprungli, cost of living etc. Good luck with your adventures in France. It takes a looooot of patience.

Wasabi macarons?! Wonder how that tastes like.
I like macarons but thats because I have a very sweet tooth. I've only had the cream based fillings and still yet to try the jam macarons. And....they look so delicate.

I'm so glad I accidentally found this post!
I couldn't agree more about macarons.. I've always seen them when I've been in Paris, and they look so pretty, and seem like they will be so tasty, but when I tried them (and I've tried them, freshly made, from a few different places in Paris)they just left me cold. Like you say, they left me 'meh'..
Thank god someone agrees with me. Maybe I'm not weird after all. haha! x

I tried a few macaroons awhile ago, they were given as a gift and I loved them to bits. I don't really want to try making them as I hear they're a nightmare to try and make correctly, but the taste of them were absolutely delicious. I don't imagine that'd mean everyone loves them though, everyone's food preferences are unique and for every dish there will be those who love it and those who hate it, not really a surprising phenomenon. Given all the yummy choices out there I don't really see the point in trying to like something food-wise that one isn't particularly fond of, I mean it's not like you'll starve without eating them.

I had no idea what a macaron was. After reading this I had to look it up. I have never seen one in real life and I don't know if they even have them here where I live. But, even though I do have a very sweet tooth, I probably won't be trying them anyway. They sound pretty disappointing.

Yes! Finally...I can't believe all the over-reaching hype macarons have enjoyed, but I really though I was just missing something. Thank you for confirming what I already suspected: that the chief appeal of the macaron is the appearance, not the taste. I LOVE your blogs, by the way.

Totally agree. I have tried the best ones in my city and I thought "Is that it?"

I have no idea what all the fuss is about. They are sweet, but not delicious. They are expensive and pretentious and probably just a fad (for non-French people). They do look yummier than they taste.

There are so many ridiculously indulgent French sweets - why all the fuss on these ones?

Those pictures just make my mouth water. Although I do think macarons are over-rated, I still love them! Part of the reason is probably my big sweet tooth. I think perfectly made ones are to die for. I only just heard about macarons 8 or so months ago, though I live in Wisconsin so trends hit here last (and I've still never seen them sold anywhere in my state - the only ones I've ever had were in Europe). They have a crunch right on the outside but the inside is just the perfect amount of chewiness. My favorite flavor is pistachio. Yum!

Just tried making macaroons.I ground almonds in a small food processor but it had too many bits or turned into almond butter, it was only good when you first put a few almonds in then after a certain point, nada. And so I wasted maybe 2 hours doing that. And then I had a 2 dollar piping bag and eh next time disposable. And anyway I tried for 4 hours to do this and they're in the oven right now. They're like the size of small plates and a ugly purple colour because of the food dye... And I don't care they're going in my mouth and I'm making no filling either. Also first time I made meringue and it tastes so good!

Eating macarons is like eating plastic or mod furniture.

I don't get why people go crazy for them. They might be pretty but the thought of putting one in my mouth makes me cringe. I had one once and I didn't like it.