In case you’ve been hiding under an epicurean rock, macarons are the next big (if not already the big) thing in the world of sweets and pastries. Look – even The Age declared it so.

I LOVE macarons. In fact, one of my enduring memories of visiting Geneva was not the lake, the old town or the UN buildings – but visiting Laduree, buying a box containing every single flavour then lazing in a sunny park with RM and devouring them in one sitting. Yes, my capacity for macarons is quite astounding.

So when Em from It Pleases Us asked me to help with blind-tasting macarons for her friend’s café, I thought I’d died and gone to heaven. Finally, a chance to flex some macaron muscle!

Famish’d is a breakfast-lunchtime café catering to the office crowds down the Paris end of Collins Street and its focus is on fresh, healthy food. The owner Georgia greeted us warmly, opened a bottle of wine and then down to business – six macaron makers, over sixty macarons. Crazy, huh?

Until I’d eaten many macarons side by side I’d never realised that there could be such disparity in look, texture and flavour. Some were neat little pops of colour, others looked like kiddie patty-cakes – in fact I deducted points for macarons which were inconsistently shaped. Colours varied from artificial to pallid. Flavours ranged from teeth-achingly sweet to almost undetectable. Textures sadly were mostly too gluey and dense in the middle or with large air pockets inside the biscuit. And as much as I love macarons, honestly some of them were not very nice.

Like true professionals, Em and I took a bite out of each macaron from a particular flavour (ie all pistachio, all lemon, all coffee etc), put the remainder in our takeaway boxes and made our judgements. In the end, our unanimous vote went to La Tropezienne for the best consistency in texture, flavour and pretty presentation. And Gabriel Gate agrees with us!

You’ll be finding La Tropezienne’s macarons at Famish’d in the next few weeks. And I guess if you go in and you don’t like your macaron, you know it’s partly me to blame :–)

  • Macaron Tasting, Famish’d, 130 Little Collins St, Melbourne +61 3 9004 0322

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