"I have the simplest tastes. I am simply satisfied with the best." - Oscar Wilde

"I came, I saw, I ate." - Au Gourmand

Friday, May 13, 2011

Macaron Parlour - May 7, 2011

Eating is the quintessential sensual experience because it simultaneously engages the five senses: the visual, the gustatory, the olfactory, the tactile and the auditory– and perhaps, even the sixth. The audition is more often than not ignored and forgotten, and yet, it is important, albeit not as crucial, perception in terms of the action called eating. Imagine, if you will, the sonic pleasure of a barbeque, hearing the meat, searing shut its juice, on the hot iron or of a fish being grilled directly on an open fire, dripping and sizzling globulets of fat onto the wood: How the pleasure of anticipation would pale, if it were not accompanied by and accentuated by the sound. Indeed, why do you think movies are filled with music? Sometimes, a sound – i.e. the miniscule shatter of a macaron shell – is so small and private that it is almost secretive, which binds the eater to the food by sharing in this little secret rite of sound.
It is difficult for even one element, which corresponds to one perception, to be perfect; but for all the elements, which as felt by the five senses, to be perfect at the same moment, such sheer perfection seems at most abstract and near impossibility in this imperfect world, although I can just barely conceive such true perfection. At least, the more attainable perfection I can conceive is a small round disk of crumbling delicacy, filled with the sweet nectar of flavor – a macaron.* A macaron is simple: sugar, almond meal and egg whites, sandwiching ganache, butter cream or jam. Thus, for its simplicity, a perfect macaron is comparatively more achievable for us, the fallible humans.

*Emotionally, I would like to believe in the ontological argument, but intellectually, and more empirically, I must join the league of Gaunilo, Kant and Aquinas in opposing this silly argument.

Caramel Fleur de Sel

The smooth and regular shell effected a light and clean crumbling, slightly sturdier than Hermé and the better half of Bottega Falai. The neutral hotel linen palette of coloring did not visually entice, which translated to a diluted caramel flavor and sodium-conscious sprinkle of fleur de sel. The airy butter cream was delightful for the first bite, then it quickly started to melt as if it were pure butter.

Candied Bacon with Maple Cream Cheese

Tossing in bacon to sweets is no longer shocking or new, if it ever was (e.g. suet in Christmas pudding or meat in a mince meat pie); however, a successful incorporation of the salty, fatty and chewy porcine-ness, so that the initial dare-devils will become repeat customers and connoisseurs, requires a careful balancing skill. In this sense, the Macaron Parlour’s candied bacon with maple cream cheese was a victory in the history of bacon sweets: first of all, the candying of bacon made it more accessible and acceptable, and the maple syrup cleverly masked the over-porcine-ness; lastly, the rich cream cheese forcefully melded and firmly glued the diner favorites together into an occasionally enjoyable treat. To be honest, I tasted primarily the smoky and bacon-y cream cheese, having carefully skirted away from the piece of vulgarly dangling fat.

Dulce de Leche

Top: Dulce de leche
Bottom: Bacon Maple Cream Cheese
The seemingly easiest recipe failed to please. Colored like a giant over-the-counter cold medicine, it was too sweet while thoroughly missing out the decadent burned caramel flavor of dulce de leche.

Macaron Parlour
Address: Hester Street Fair

No comments:

Post a Comment