Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Miette and Macarons

Since I had three weeks of high school French before accepting a post as the Feature Editor of our widely-read school paper (after I did that opinion piece on headbands versus hair scrunchies, let's just say Tom Brokaw courted me a little too heavily- show some restraint, dude), I am fully qualified to disseminate advice on correct French pronunciation.

The French cookie has one "o". Pronounced a bit like "macaroni" without the "i" and spoken from the back of your throat with your nose in the air and your pinkie finger extended. The pronunciation is enhanced by carrying a very, very tiny dog beneath your arm.

The French macaron is nothing like the clumsy old lard-butt coconut macaROON running around Paris in its white Reeboks looking for a McDonalds and asking for directions in loud English. Non!

The French macaron is like a puffy, crunchy, delicate cloud encasing a thin sweep of luscious creme. Like French women, it can smoke and not age. It can eat butter and not gain weight. It is effortlessly beautiful. We like to pretend we hate it, but actually we love it SO MUCH.

Anyways, Miette. First I loved them when, pre-hipster artist wallpaper designers (Timorous Beasties, ha!), they put up this sweet paper:

In fact, they were covered in shelter magazines (crazy antique ones likes Victoria and Cottage Living!) for their design and merchandising, not their cookies. I know it looks like a girlie explosion in there, but what do you want a bakery to look like? A Japanese nightclub? A modern art gallery? Non again! I want my cookie joints to look just like this. Like they're made entirely of delicately colored frosting and sugar.

Cookies and modernism do not go together. Like the Mother Goose rhymes of our childhood, where lollipops grew from the ground and witches' houses were edible (and dishes ran away with spoons, which I still find perplexing), ingesting sugar is equal parts fantasy and comfort.

Somehow Miette totally gets this. Just look at their merchandising (trees made of candy!)

And brilliantly, they've reinforced the fantasy of an edible building by making wallpaper cookies. Someone at Miette is a voracious reader of fairytales.
Oh yes, and their macarons? When I finally got to San Fran and tried them all I can say is that I keep trying to come up with excuses to go back....

Are you in a virtual sugar coma now? Raise your pinkie and repeat after me: mah-kah-(gargle)ron.

ps: some pics from Miette, others floating around the 'net without credits-if they're yours let me know so I can credit you


  1. What was the point of the Tom Brokaw comment?


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