Feeds:
Posts
Comments

Posts Tagged ‘Picard’

And so, at last, we come to the end of the macaron saga*. I’ve so far covered nine flavours from Monoprix but only four from Picard, so it’s only fair that these next come from the cavernous and ever-intriguing freezer aisles of the latter.

Picard

I don’t know if I can countenance paying through the nose for prunes wrapped in bacon, as that seems to me a fairly easy-to-execute concept... but the rest of these canapés look more complex and worth buying, maybe.

Entirely for your pleasure, I remembered to take photos of these macarons in my Paris hostel room, in the sunlight, before descending to the hostel’s dark “Chill-Out Room”. You know what that means, don’t you? You’re looking at Parisian macarons dappled by the Parisian sun. If that doesn’t make you want to fly to France**, I don’t know what will.

Picard Macarons Once More

Picard Macarons

Which flavour would you most like to try?

Abricot:

From the get-go, Picard’s abricot macaron had a strong and clear apricot aroma. Yet once I nibbled through its super-soft shell,I became discombobulated. The macaron tasted utterly of something from my childhood, and yet I couldn’t pinpoint what that “something” was. All I knew was that it reminded me of primary school, of a time when I loved The Spice Girls, Green Day, and Dawson’s Creek… but that was as far as my mind got.

It wasn’t until I’d tried every other flavour and circled back to the abricot that I figured it out: this macaron tasted exactly like an Uncle Toby’s Chewy Apricot Muesli Bar. That is to say, like syrupy oat snacks with multiple tiny apricot pieces scattered throughout and a layer of yogurt icing on top. Not exactly my favourite taste in the world (the muesli bar or the macaron), but I appreciated the trip down memory lane.

Picard Abricot Macaron

Sunshine, lollipops, and rainbows everywhere...

Pain d’Épice-Figue:

I was pretty excited about this macaron, having fallen head over heels for Pain d’Épice in Antwerp and having subsequently scouted out loaves of it in Amsterdam and Paris alike. Moreover, fresh figs were my most-craved for fruit during my travels (a craving yet to be sated, mind you), so yes. Excitement.

Calling upon my food language translation skills, I fig-ured (oh, chortle) out that the spices in this macaron were cinnamon, star anise, ginger, cardamom, and mace. Mostly, though, the macaron tasted like gingerbread, which is a little less complex in spice-flavour than true pain d’épice. I liked it, though.

The fig filling I remain ambivalent about. It looked delightfully gooey, and as you can see below there’s a plethora of seeds indicating the use of real figs, but sadly the flavour reminded me of fig newtons. I say “sadly” because there’s a citrus-peel-esque flavour in fig newtons that I simply can’t embrace, and that tainted this macaron filling for me. I didn’t hate the macaron by any stretch, but I came out wishing it had used a simple buttercream filling instead of fruity fig squishiness.

Picard Macaron

This is perhaps the macaron that most reminds me of Pac-Man.

Griotte-Pistache:

It’s lucky that the second flavour component of this macaron was pistachio, because all I could think of upon seeing the word “Griotte” was “grot”. I don’t know about you, but that’s not something I like to put in my mouth.

Turns out “griotte” is morello cherry, so I needn’t have worried.

This macaron, like the abricot before it, took me on a roller-coaster ride down memory lane. The tangy but very sweet fruitiness of this macaron threw me back to earlier than Green Day and primary school; I found myself pre-double digits, swinging my too-short legs at a restaurant booth, reaching for the big glass of fizzy pink fizz in front of me.

Yep, this macaron tasted exactly like how I remember Shirley Temples tasting. (The drink, people. I don’t eat petite child stars.) I can’t remember the last time I saw one of these on a restaurant menu, but I’m hoping at least some of you know what I’m talkin’ bout. Unfortunately, I got no distinct pistachio from this macaron. There was a slight undercurrent of nuttiness to the flavour, but mostly this macaron equalled drinking Shirley Temples to me. Oh, and it equalled prettiness.

Picard Macaron

Don't you just want to take this sweetie home and snuggle?

Praliné:

Firstly, this macaron had nothing on Camille’s praliné chocolates. No other praliné treat could, really. Setting that fact aside, this macaron had a pleasantly rich and sweet nuttiness, although the overwhelming flavour was of brown sugar and honey.

The most exciting nibble was the one in which I ate the biscuit part and then the thick filling on its own, as the filling reminded me a little of sweetened chestnut puree.

And once more, the macaron was pretty darn attractive.

Picard Macaron

Let There Be Light!

*Well, the end of the supermarket macaron saga. There is, in fact, one more macaron to come, which alone cost more than a box of twelve supermarket macarons. But all in good time, my friends. All in good time.

** Volcanic ash permitting. Did I mention how incredibly grateful I am to have left Italy a week before that chaos hit?

Lastly, a shout-out thank you to Peggy Entwhistle for her lovely company this morning and the simultaneous commiseration and giggling over my house-sitting house. Cheers (and I’m still glad that gardener didn’t chop off his own foot when we scared him with our existence).

Advertisements

Read Full Post »

Hello from Australia’s National Capital and my home city, Canberra. 

And before I forget… for any Americans out there, we pronounce it more like “Can-bra” than “Can-BEAR-ah”. And Melbourne is more like “Mel-bahn” than “Mel-that-guy-played-by-Matt-Damon-when-he-had-amazing-biceps-but-I-wish-they-hadn’t-killed-off-Franka-Potente-because-I-like-Run-Lola-Run-and-that-was-the-first-DVD-my-family-owned-wait-where-was-I-oh-yes-macarons”. 

Picard Macarons the First

A few weeks back I showcased the many macarons available at France’s Monoprix supermarkets. Today, I bring you macarons from the freezer aisle of Monoprix’s swankier cousin, Picard – Le Mecca of pre-prepared goodness. 

For all your frozen foie gras needs. Because foie gras has NEEDS, yo.

But no one came here for savouries, did they? At least not today. So let’s get macaron-cracking with my first box of macarons from Picard (the second box will come later, promise).

I do like the colour of Picard's packaging more than Monoprix's.

 1. Fruit de la Passion 

This flavour was the Picard version of Monoprix’s Mangue-Passion, which was my least favourite of the Monoprix bunch. Luckily, Picard’s mango and passionfruit macaron was far nicer, simply because the flavour tasted real rather than fake. The mango was stronger than the passionfruit, particularly when one split the macaron and ate the thick, soft filling first. (Those Oreo ads have clearly had some influence in my life.) 

Picard Macarons

No prizes for picking the fruit de la passion macarons.

2. Cassis-Violette 

This, in contrast, was a flavour combination utterly unlike those found in the Monoprix freezer aisles. Blackcurrant and violet? It sounds… pretty. Now, I must admit I wasn’t certain what “cassis” was before tasting this. However, as soon as I placed it in my mouth I was back in my Grandma Mickey’s kitchen, drinking blackcurrant cordial and watching her stir spoonfuls of caster sugar into a grated granny smith apple, just for me. 

So I can clearly affirm that this macaron encapsulates the flavour of blackcurrant, while also conveying the slightly deeper, darker, yet still delicately-floral taste of violet. Quite a rich and intense experience, all up. 

Picard Macaron

Jam jam jam jam jam. (Anyone a Black Books' fan?)

3. Pistache 

How did Picard’s pistachio macaron stack up against Monoprix’s version? Well, Picard’s was softer, as was the case with all of its flavours. It was also prettier, what with the pistachio crumbly bits dotted over the shell. Taste-wise? Winner winner! This had a strong and true pistachio flavour that reminded me of Vestri’s divine pistachio white chocolate. Unlike the vague nuttiness of Monoprix’s Gout Pistache, this was pistachio all the way. Yay, Picard. (Oooh, I just had an urge to do the Vulcan Salute.) (Also, I had to google “star trek hand signal” in order to find out that it’s called the Vulcan Salute. Just so you know.) 

Hello again Mr. Blurry, I knew you couldn't have gone far.

4. Réglisse 

This was the real surprise of the box – the licorice macaron. I detested licorice as a child, yet am starting to think that it’s time to give the real deal another try. I’ve found myself enjoying anise-flavoured and licorice-flavoured chocolates, and I really liked this macaron. The licorice flavour was subtle and the buttercream filling smooth, nutty, and sweet, with just a hint of herbal, smoky licorice. Definitely my favourite of this first Picard collection. 

Looks like the licorice has been smooching the pistachio... naughty macarons.

I shall end here for the night, I think. I slept quite well yesterday but am flagging a bit now, which is partly to do with jetlag and partly to do with being a bit cranky at my toe. 

See, first thing this morning I visited my doctor, and despite beginning to hope that antibiotics alone could cure the toe, such is not to be. In fact, not only do I need surgery again, but I need slightly more of it. Don’t get me wrong, I know that it is very minor surgery, and I’m hugely grateful that I managed to make it through four months of travelling. In addition, I recognise that having to sit in a chair watching movies and eating my travel souvenirs is hardly a tragedy. Still, it’s a bit frustratingly tedious to get stuck in non-moving-non-job-hunting-non-getting-on-with-life for the next little while. At least this time around, I have not only my Canberra buddies and family to keep me entertained but all of you and this blog, right?

Cheers, and thanks!

Read Full Post »