Thursday, August 12, 2010

Is the Parisian Macaro(o)n rising in DC?

Cacao's Macaroons
With all this talk of cupcakes, I have been trying to scout out the next dessert food trend in DC.  I'm ready for something else.  A few years back I had some excellent chocolate rice pudding at a shop dedicated to the gloppy goodness in NYC, but as much as I had hoped, this innovative approach to a retro classic has not caught on.

What does seem to migrating this way are Parisian style macarons whose spelling adds an "O" for whatever reason when the treat crosses the Atlantic.  A new place in Cleveland Park, Cacao, serves dozens of varieties along with some other divine looking French pastries.

So is this the next big thing?  I am not so sure; I thought these sweet treats were just okay.  The macaroons do actually taste like the flavor descriptions from plain vanilla to pistachio to rose.  And the cookie part is light with a nice crunch and a moist inside giving way to the smooth, sweet cream filling.  But they lacked a certain zip and I don't think I will be back for more.

One thing that really irked me was the $1 upcharge for the plastic box.  Really?!  That seemed tacky.  And at $8 for six--without the box--it was not as if these were inexpensive treats.

My favorite macaroon can be found not in Paris but from Sucre in New Orleans; I've actually mail-ordered them (last year for Mardi Gras, along with their fancy King Cake) and they arrive quite fresh.

 Sucre's Mardi Gras Macaroons
Sucre's macaroons are slightly more expensive but have an ethereal look and taste divine.  So if DC bakeries are going to make this the next trend, they have their work cut out for them!


  1. They don't look that good.
    I haven't tried them, and I don't understand why they are so trendy. Weird.

  2. They are very delicious when made well, the best I have had were from Bouchon Bakery in NYC. They are absolutely divine.

  3. Lori and I were all over the Laduree ones on our trip to Dublin. Must say I'm a fan, esp the rose and pistascio flavors.