There is a long withstanding debate about the best macarons in Paris with the focus being on two famous Parisian patisseries Ladurée and Pierre Hermé. Food bloggers all over the world have tried to compare them both with mixed reviews, meaning no clear winner has emerged.
I decided to clear up this matter once and for all and put the two to test on my recent trip to Paris. Nothing was open when we arrived at the bus station at 7:30am so we decided to make our way to the Arc De Triomphe and down Champs Elysée. I was certain both shops are located down this road but couldn’t find Pierre Hermé. However, I did stumble across another branch later in the day so all was not lost! Ladurée along Champs Elysée was closed for renovation but luckily they had opened a little pop-up store next to the main building. I’ve had plenty of macarons in my time so decided to choose a slightly unusual flavour which was new to me. I purchased a mini caramel with salted butter macaron from both stores and sat on a park bench to enjoy them. Each section of the macaron will be assessed below to determine the winner.
Both Pierre Hermé and Ladurée shell were light and slightly crispy upon the first bite, just like a macaron should be. Pierre Hermé’s shell comprised of a soft mousse-like inner layer in addition to the crispy outer shell whereas the layers of Ladurée’s shell were less defined meaning the texture was slightly chewier.
The filling varied between Ladurée and Pierre Hermé in terms of texture and taste. The Ladurée filling had a creamy light caramel flavour which was very tasty but didn’t contain the saltiness I expected as this was a caramel with salted butted macaon after all. At the other end of the spectrum the Pierre Hermé’s filling was a thick, slightly hard caramel which had a sharp salty taste. Although delicious I can’t help but think the caramel taste was too strong, a bit more like maple, as it left a strange taste in my mouth.
As much as I want to crown a winner of the best macaron in Paris, it is merely impossible to decide between Ladurée and Pierre Hermé as they are both so different! I loved the texture of the Pierre Hermé macaron and the full flavour which gave it an unique taste, however the macaron from Ladurée was less harsh in flavour which although meant it was a little less tasty, it didn’t leave an after-taste and wasn’t at all sickly. In order to decide on a winner, I believe further testing is needed with different flavours meaning I will have to seek these stores out when I move to London next week!
I think the best macaron is down to personal preference and for me, it is impossible to choose a winner, sorry folks!
Here’s a cute little quote from Ladurée
“Sweets are not just pleasure but a philosophy, a nice way to approach our times with nobility”
Living life, loving cake,