With Macarons, the Price Isn't in the Bite
Unwrapping a designer box of imported macarons at Lincoln Road's Laduree is an experience in and of itself. The Paris-based pastry company recently launched a South Beach offshoot of its century-old operation.
Photo by Neil Vazquez Georges Berger of Chocolate Fashion.
Not to be confused with the coconut macaroons your grandmother passes out during Passover, these french cookies come in a variety of colors and flavors. With a little less than six months since its debut, the verdict is in: We love these artful and delectable sweets but can't stand the hefty price tag. How can two cookies sandwiched between a sweet filling cost almost as much as a diner burger? Short Order tracked down a local patisserie expert to deconstruct the multicolored madness.
Georges Berger is the pastry chef and owner of Chocolate Fashion, with locations in Coral Gables and South Miami. The French-born Berger is a multi-award-winning culinary master with a background training with bakers and pastry chefs at some of the most luxurious restaurants and hotels in France. Before starting his business in South Florida, Berger traveled the world, working in Switzerland, Egypt, and Japan. His extraordinary confectionary talents earned him a 1975 semifinalist spot at the prestigious Coup de France, and he was recently named to the list "2014 Top Ten Pastry Chefs in America" by Dessert Professionals Magazine. Short Order sat down with this paragon of French pastry to get the inside scoop on why these petite cookies pack a gustatory and monetary wallop.
New Times: Macarons have recently made waves in the States, but what's the status of the treats back in France?
Georges Berger: Every region in France has its own variety of macaron. For example, where I started in Lyon, the macarons were a little more rustic; they were very large, almost twice the size, and were always brown because we left the skin on the almonds. And we only had one flavor there, so you really tasted the almonds. The macarons that are so popular today are the Paris variety. They're smaller and come in various colors and flavors.