You pick your vices. You pick your obsessions. Sometimes they satisfy, sometimes they fall flat.
At the wide glass windows of the corner patisserie in the Marais, little wheels of vibrant color stare back at me, stacked up in tidy rows. The queue of Parisians inside the shop moves fast, most folks walking out with a baguette or batard or some other fresh, still-warm bundle of bread under their arm. But I’m here for something more… something better, and much more addictive.
Paris is the pleasure, but it’s the chewy little pastel-colored Macarons that are the obsession. Paris can disappoint – extortionate brasseries serving generic croque madame, gray October drizzle and hordes of tour bus shoppers clogging the boulevards – but Macarons always satisfy; sticky, crumbly and intensely flavorful. My passion for tracking down these little critters has become a near full-time vocation when I visit the City of Lights and I am convinced that my extensive research has proven fruitful in delivering me with a map of the best and certainly those to be avoided. I tend to go after one fruit flavored, and one more earthy; rich raspberry and pale green pistachio, or Lemon and then toasted almond. There really is no wrong way to do the thing.
But back home in London, glass cases tend to feature meat pies, or pink frosted “Gregg’s” cupcakes, neither of which offer any solace when I find that metallic craving come up on the tip of my tongue.
So on a rainy day in Clerkenwell, I am on the streets, tucked under my overly-bright umbrella splashing through puddles, dodging black cabs, on the hunt for an elegant rendition of a Macaron.
I need your help.
Where in London can I find the best, brightest, crumbly yet chewy Macaron?