fivemack (fivemack) wrote,

Exceeding the recommended daily number of macaroons

Pierre Herme sells patisseries from a minimalist shop just next to the metro Pasteur; I tried some macaroons (which are four centimetres in diameter and a centimetre thick) and his fabled Isfahan Pastry. My plan was to lounge in the Jardins de Luxembourg and eat them but, even given the Tour Montparnasse as a six-hundred-foot landmark, I got thoroughly lost and found the Jardins de Luxembourg just as they were closing, so ate them in my small hotel room instead.

One macaroon was coloured an interesting shade of yellow, and filled with a chocolate ganache flavoured with enough passion-fruit to overwhelm the taste of the chocolate and leave only its colour and texture. One macaroon was filled with a salt-caramel cream which filled your mouth with the caramel and the salt tastes in succession. And one was decorated with applique'd purple glitter (which got everywhere, as glitter does), filled with a dark-green perfectly smooth pistachio cream, and in the centre an unexpected sour cherry. The macaroons were smooth on top, but not in the slightest crunchy; they posed a slight obstacle to the teeth before dissolving in the mouth.

The Isfahan Pastry was topped with a rose-petal, with the traditional glinting dew-drop provided by a drop of sugar syrup. Under this was a wafer of rose-water macaroon, a blatant pink, smooth on top and macaroon-texture at the bottom even if no more than a millimetre thick.

And under that was a tart-case of a crunchy shortcase pastry dark with butter, filled with a lychee cream and raspberry jam, and topped with fresh raspberries and artfully-cubed parboiled lychee.

I'd forgotten to have lunch, but this really didn't matter.

Aside from gastronomy, I've seen the exhibit of Afghan gold at the Musee Guimet - a dense queue of people at a line of display-cases stretching round a corner, getting more splendid with each case. This was six presumably-royal burials; bracelets in massive gold, deep-relief gold sculptures of Cupid on dolphin-back decorated with commas of jade, necklaces whose beads were tooled-gold balls the size of walnuts, an enormous crown of gold leaves, and hundreds of little pieces of gold which had been sewn along the hems of the garments the bodies were found wearing; you ended up sick of gold and turquoise. Also Paris from the top of the Arc de Triomphe.

I leave Paris tomorrow evening on the overnight train to Madrid; I'm just googling 'meilleurs millefeuilles de Paris' for the afternoon, and le Cafe de la Paix at the place Opera seems recommended. Culture will be the Pompidou Centre, and then either Lalique at the Musee de Luxembourg or the new ethnic-art museum at Quai Branly. Ah, it'll be Luxembourg; Quai Branly is fermi le lundi.

I don't think I'm quite getting into this whole Lent business.
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