Giant-macaron-cone

Going Macarons at the Paris Salon du Chocolat

How come I’ve never been before? It took my talented artistic American friend, Carol Gillott of ParisBreakfasts, to entice me along finally to the 2011 Salon du Chocolat in Paris. Was I too busy making macarons? Perhaps more because it’s at Porte de Versailles, an area that’s a nightmare to park and with all the exhibition halls for someone with no sense of direction, it’s like suffering an orienteering course for a sports exam when it’s not your sport. Arriving seriously late with a lame excuse of being too nice in traffic jams, she was an angel to still take me under her wing.

Who was more mad about macarons? Check out Carol’s eye-catching gear of tee-shirt and matching macaron bracelet. Not difficult to lose her – although she might tell you the opposite. Each stand visited, we were greeted with “Superb T-Shirt!” followed by more chocolate tastings, thanks to her savoir-faire.

Carol knows a thing or two about Paris fashions – not surprising, as she has the artist’s eye. Macarons are definitely à la mode (by that I don’t mean the American ice-cream on top, I’m talking trendy Parisian fashion here.)

See?  Macaron ruffled necklaces are obviously in.

Another necklace – this time just like her bracelet, plus macarons dotted around the dress.

Should I perhaps give some macarons to the French fashion creator, Jean Colonna? We could create Le Colonna macaron dress. Just an idea…

Meanwhile, looking around, it’s macarons galore – perfect for a macaron blog.

A rather foxy (get it?) macaron-shell tower in all its glory by Gregory Renard and then his Eiffel Tower of macarons…

While we’re gazing at the Paris monuments, what about l’Arc de Triomphe by Léonidas?  It’s the one time I can negotiate the traffic around it without needing a bumper or aspirin.

Eye-spy, my little eye falls on chocolate-dipped macarons by Christophe Roussel.

Then a tasting over at Arnaud Larher‘s stand, even if the taster macaron bits were so near yet so far behind the counter.  Pain d’épice (gingerbread) and orange. What a gorgeous filling texture, although I didn’t really get the orange, sorry.  Hm – what’s that electric green colouring for pistachio? Never mind, it’s delicious!

Quite the chocolate treat from Arnaud Larher: these are chocomacs. They’re not macarons but chocolates in the shape of macarons. Now when you see macaron molds, you understand it’s not to make macarons but chocolate-shaped macarons.

There’s also a Professional Salon du Chocolat downstairs, including packaging, equipment and all kinds of tricks for the trade. This macaron-making machine might be rather bulky for the kitchen, n’est-ce pas? It also looks rather complicated but worth it if you need to make macarons in their thousands daily. Give me the simple piping bag any day.

Meanwhile, time to check out the World Chocolate Masters 2011. It’s serious business between the top chocolatiers strutting their stuff until something catches my eye in the audience. I should really learn to concentrate.

Imagine this blissful scene: somebody is just sitting with their arms out, holding these miniature macaron beauties.  Of course, I asked if I could try just one since I LOVE macarons. Wouldn’t you do the same on seeing this sight?

This was a Grand Marnier mini macaron, with a macaron shell on top of the most exquisite chocolate by Spruengli in Switzerland. What lovely people!

Then came Sébastien Bouillet. He’s a pâtisserie legend in Lyon and his speciality?

The Macalyon.  It’s a salted caramel macaron dipped completely in 70% dark chocolate.  Only €6.80 for a box of four…

It was with his Macalyon that I was inspired with this bitter chocolate macaron for the book, but only dipping it in half. Then Christophe Roussel also does it. What do you think? Personally I prefer seeing a macaron’s feet, rather than hiding it all. Although…

Chocolate macaron from my book, “Mad About Macarons”

 

My chocolate! Is that the time already? Now if I was really Smart, I could get in this nifty Salon du Chocolat special edition car and whisk myself home, weaving in front of the crazy drivers, just in time for school pick-up. It’s sweet but macarons were missing on it, don’t you think?

If you’re in Paris, then do check it out: the Salon du Chocolat is still open until Monday 24 October!

It’s guaranteed you’ll have a smashing time!

Ah. Just as well I’d made more chocolate macarons back home for dessert. All this chocolate is making me crave more.  I wonder why?

45 replies
  1. shaz
    shaz says:

    Oh wow, my turn to be envious now. What an amazing event. I so seriously want a T-shirt like your friend’s. And her bracelet too if she’s feeling generous. The Macalyon sounds delish.

    Reply
  2. FreeSpiritEater
    FreeSpiritEater says:

    I love the creativity of the artist, who would’ve thought to create such lovely masterpieces like these? Thank you for sharing this with us Jill, it is exciting to see what is going on in France while I sit here in dirty Jersey lol

    Reply
  3. Anna
    Anna says:

    I was looking at your pictures and I remember a rerun of DC Cupcakes that I watched the other day. The duo created a cupcake dress, it wasn’t really that fabulous although I must say they really had so much effort placed in finishing the masterpiece. Your pictures are so amazing…Love the macaron tower! 😉

    Reply
  4. Karen@ladymacaron20ten
    Karen@ladymacaron20ten says:

    Jill, thank you ever so much for sharing this amazing post. I absolutely adored the macaron fashion – tres chic! I would have been in heaven attending an expo like this – fantastic and very inspirational. I also can’t believe that with all my trips to Paris I actually never tasted a macaron:(

    Reply
  5. June S
    June S says:

    This is your best blog yet Jill describing a special day in paradise. It was well worth the scary drive. I love every single photo. I want to go there – who wouldn’t! Grand Marnier macarons for me – think Christmas.

    Reply
  6. Terris@ Free Eats
    Terris@ Free Eats says:

    I loved seeing the photos from this event. I would have loved it more though if I was there! What an inspiration to see all those macarons, and CHOCOLATE in one place. Hmmmm, perhaps next year a trip to Paris will be in the cards. 🙂

    Reply
  7. Pudding Pie Lane
    Pudding Pie Lane says:

    p.p.s sorry sorry for spamming your blog comments but I forgot to say if you ever go into a Christophe Roussel shop I really recommend the different flavoured chocolates they have, the green tea ones are so yummy!

    Reply
    • Jill
      Jill says:

      I love when you can give us an excuse to go back to the shop since didn’t try the chocolates. So many things to try, such a dilemma 😉
      Green tea… hmmmm.

      Reply
  8. Pudding Pie Lane
    Pudding Pie Lane says:

    I read about this in the news! Apparently in the chocolate fashion show one of the chocolate dresses fell apart :O But anyway, I’m very jealous of you going, I shall definitely try and make it next year, I can’t miss out on the macaron mania that seems to be going on there!

    Reply
  9. Liz
    Liz says:

    Such fun, Jill! And how I would enjoy a beautiful ruffled necklace that could double as a delicious snack! Yes, I did redecorate my blog a bit…it’s been only finished for about a week, so you are quite observant 🙂 xo

    Reply
  10. Cooking Rookie
    Cooking Rookie says:

    What a great post! I wish I could have been at that Salon du Chcolat. Do they have fines for eating their exhibits 🙂 ? Those chocolate-dipped macarons look absolutely irresistible!

    Reply
  11. Amalia
    Amalia says:

    OMG!(Believe me I do not use that word very often unless it’s seriously amazing). Everything looks incredible! I cannot believe that people create such amazing things! Wow, I’m blown away. I think everyone wishes they could have been there! 🙂 Awesome post, I’m looking forward to your next one!

    Reply
  12. Kim Bee
    Kim Bee says:

    This is the most craving inducing post I’ve ever seen. I am just in awe of the macaroon goodness. I need to come visit you and go on these adventures with you. Great post.

    Reply
  13. visda
    visda says:

    Wow! That looks like a dream. I have been to a couple of chocolate factories before but having chocolates and macarons in the same place in this scale … wow! This place goes on my top 10 places to visit. Thanks for sharing Jill.

    Reply
  14. parisbreakfast
    parisbreakfast says:

    WOW yr pics came out terrific.
    It’s funny to see the things you caught and I missed.
    I certainly didn’t taste any Grand Marnier mini macarons. I’ll have to go back I suppose…
    One has to race to keep up with you Jill – you don’t miss a trick!

    Reply
    • Jill
      Jill says:

      Not a great trick, though, if I kept getting lost. These mini macs were in the auditorium when I was looking for you in the audience. Instead I saw these wee beauties! I missed that macaron-like shower curtain. I want one…

      Reply
  15. Nami | Just One Cookbook
    Nami | Just One Cookbook says:

    That’s true, this is where you belong, and you haven’t been there? I’m glad you did and shared the experience with us. I think I’ll go with empty stomach and try everything I can and leave with macarons for dinner. You need to drive that car with macaron pictures on it. You will be so popular in school! 😉

    Reply
    • Jill
      Jill says:

      They were wonderful – lovely texture for the filling, good bite but I needed a bit more spice in there and more orange since it was gingerbread-orange. But when you taste these kinds of macarons, you’ve no idea the inspiration you can have to make them at home. What do you think?

      Reply
  16. Sue
    Sue says:

    Oh, it’s all too much! Chocolates and macarons, I can just imagine all those lovely aromas, and then Grand Marnier macaron and chocolate wow! Mind you I wouldn’t mind trying any of them. Lucky you and very lucky Carol, with Salon de Chocolat now and chocolates in London last weekend. I am feeling very envious and was so annoyed that I didn’t know about the London event until it was too late. I think I need to look up the date for next year and put it on the calendar now!

    Reply
    • Jill
      Jill says:

      Thanks, Tina. Carol’s photos turned out much better as she took her camera. I was too excited with my new iPhone but the photos weren’t as good. Should learn not to balance too many things in hands, too, and cram things in mouth at same time! 😉

      Reply
  17. thoma
    thoma says:

    ah you’re so modest and asked for jus one…i would’ve asked for more than one, if not all ;P

    do we live in the same world?? this is all so fantastic…so much color and beauty and tactile sensation!!

    Reply
    • Jill
      Jill says:

      I was just like you – still don’t know why it has taken me 18 yrs to get there but it was worth the wait. What a ball with Carol. I’m still discovering some wee chocolate surprises that she sneaked in my bag. Priceless!

      Reply
  18. Roxana GreenGirl
    Roxana GreenGirl says:

    I think I shouldn’t have checked your blog so early in the morning. i’ll crave macarons and chocolate all day and maybe all weekend. Everything looks spectacular Jill. Oh, why am I not in Paris to be a test tester?

    Reply

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  1. […] took notice of Patrice Chapon’s name ever since my first Paris Salon du Chocolat. Every October during the Salon, there’s always a queue in front of his famous Chocolate […]

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