AND THE NEW GOLD MINE IS ... THE FRENCH MACARON!
It is the King of the French pastry shops! The macaron is one of the symbols of French gastronomy. Both sophisticated and gourmet, it contributes to maintain the refined image foreign people ascribe to French culture.
The macaron, a piece of France to take home!
The nicely rounded dessert perfectly portrays the romanticized image of France like lavender fields in Provence or Parisian perfume shops. Cinema has contributed to build this image through movies, like in Marie Antoinette by Sofia Coppola.
Amongst the macaron’s lovers are Chinese people. There are currently 5 Ladurée shops in China that are implanted in Shanghai, Hong-Kong and Beijing.
There, Chinese people not only buy macarons, they buy a French macaron as you can tell by the name of Pierre Hermé’s shops ‘Pierre Hermé Paris’.
A Franco-Chinese macaron, why not?
Asking Chinese friends about the French pastries they like the most, I was not surprised that macarons came first; Muffins, madeleines and lemon pie following.
On the contrary, religieuses, financiers and flans did not have as much success the reason being they are too copious and filling ( shall we forgive them for thinking this way? ) ;)
Speaking about Chinese people tastes, they are more likely to choose classic flavors such as chocolate or red berries.
When in France we are experiencing olive oil/mandarine or chocolate/foie gras combinations, the Chinese market is adapting.
Pierre Hermé launched tea flavored macarons, declaring he « tried the eight treasure tea in a restaurant ».
Also, Chinese people palates are less used to sugary products; the macaron which is distributed in China has a lower quantity of sugar so that it fits their tastes.
Along with this booming exportation, French pastry chefs give more and more classes to Chinese ones. The aim is to have fresh and crunchy macaron in China, despite the humidity level that is particularly hard to manage.
Do not we agree that these sweet treats worth it? What about your favorite macaron flavor? What other pastry do you think represent better French gastronomy?