In my opinion, there is nothing more quintessentially parisian than a delicate macaron. Everything about them, from the exquisite packaging they come in to the polite and elegant servers who sell them to you, the beautiful shops where you can purchase them and their crunchy sweet taste–everything about them screams out Paris. Along with that comes a little bit of snobbery as well. At 2-3 euros a bite, macarons are an elitist treat, not everyone can enjoy them for what they are worth and so not everyone could have access to them. In 1998, Pierre Hermé designed a bakery in Tokyo that resembled a jeweler. Macarons, the thought was, are as precious as jewelry and should be treated and presented as such. This year François Payard pushed the analogy a step further by bringing macarons to an actual jewelry store when he opened François Chocolate Bar on the fourth floor of the Mauboussin jewelry store at 714 Madison Avenue. Pierre Hermé boutiques in Tokyo or Paris, Mauboussin in New York City– these are places where macarons are meant to be.
That being said, Starbucks just announced that after bringing expensive coffee to the masses, they plan to do the same with Paris’ revered small pastry. Just in time for the holidays and for two weeks only (eh, at least it’s still kind of exclusive!), Starbucks will bring macarons to its stores nationwide. Their macaroons (Starbucks chose use the Americanized spelling) will be made in France by Château Blanc and sold in a 12-piece box in select Starbucks for a limited time, from December 13 until December 25. Flavours will include Pistachio Butter Cream (pictured), Vanilla, Lemon, Raspberry Conserve and Chocolate Ganache. Each box will contain of 12 will contain an assortment of six flavours and retail for $9.95 U.S.
So what is next for the macaron in the United States? There’s been talk of macarons being the next cupcakes for years. If that ever happens, then macarons will no longer be macarons and at that point they might as well become McCaron and pop up at every McCafe across the country (or at least at this upscale Chelsea McDonald’s I just visited). Perhaps they could even sell them at the new McDonald’s that just opened in the Louvre…
That being said, who wants to meet up at Starbucks on the 13th?