Thursday, December 13, 2012
There are few better ways to spend a weekday afternoon in London than eating Pierre Herme macarons. One better way is to eat said macarons with Pierre Herme himself. I had the opportunity to do so yesterday, and spent awhile with the famous French pastry chef while sampling Les Jardins, his 2013 limited edition macaron collection. Yum.
The collection, which features one delicate macaron for each month of the year, consists of an imaginative array of flavors from January’s grapefruit with cloves, nutmeg, and candied grapefruit, to August’s mandarin orange with red berries and olive oil.
As I sat down to sample, I first tried October’s chocolate and smoked salt macaron, which was rich and redolent. Afterwards I couldn’t resist sampling July’s light, pretty lime and red berries, which was miles away in flavor but equally good.
Soon Pierre came by and sat down to talk. I asked him about his inspiration for the collection, and he said that each one was inspired by something entirely different, but that all related to fragrances. I then asked if he had a favorite, to which he responded with a smile, “always the next one I will create”.
When asked by another guest what was the most unique macaron he ever made, Pierre explained that a private client commissioned him to make a macaron that tasted like the smell of a cigar. Having never smoked a cigar himself, the chef set off to do some research. The end result was a macaron with a lovely blend of tobacco and whisky flavors.
After the interview with Pierre Herme, I sampled another macaron, a special Valentine’s Day creation that blended jasmine tea cream, mango compote, and candied grapefruit. It was quite bitter and not to my liking, but June’s apple, mint, cucumber, and rocket macaron made up for it.
Like many of the others, it was beautiful to look at and contained a great balance of flavors, which was a theme that ran throughout the whole 2013 collection.
I wanted to stay all day sampling Pierre Herme’s macarons, but my dessert stomach eventually reached satiety. I said au revoir and went home, happy to have had the chance to frolic in Les Jardins, even if just for an afternoon.