I looooove food. Like, really love it. But wanna know what I love more than food? Free food!! And know what I love even more than free food (if that’s even possible)? Is free food that supports and brings awareness to a great cause, which is exactly what last Friday’s Macaron Day did.
What began 5 years ago by François Payard, chef and owner of FP Patisserie, François Payard Bakery and Payard Patisserie & Bistro, as a day for those looking to satisfy their sweet tooth, has now grown into a massive event where about 30 shops throughout the city not only give away free macarons, but also a portion of the day’s sales to support City Harvest.
For those who aren’t familiar, City Harvest is an awesome organization that rescues food, normally wasted or thrown away, and uses it to feed up to 1.4 million New Yorkers every year. So when I heard about Macaron Day, I definitely wanted to participate!
I remember when I was in Paris a few years ago, I passed window after window filled with these beautiful, delicate little French confections, and although I really wanted to try one, I never got a chance (I know, crazy, right??) But luckily there is no shortage of macaron shops here in New York.
Now, I know that many people love these things, and understandably so, but after finally giving them a try, I ended up not being their biggest fan (…pause for reaction). I think something about the combination of flavors and textures just didn’t do it for me, but that definitely didn’t stop me from participating in the revelry that is Macaron Day!
For my mini macaron crawl, I decided to start downtown and see how far I could make it before my feet and the snow said no more!
I began at the François Payard Bakery at 210 Mulberry expecting there to be long lines when I arrived, but thankfully I only found a handful of people waiting. There were a number of flavors to choose from, but I wanted to be a little adventurous, so I opted for Raspberry Lychee. Yum!
From that point forward, I picked up a fragrant Honey Lavender macaron from Macaron Cafe in Tribeca, a plain raspberry from Woops! Macarons in Soho, made a visit to another François Payard Bakery at 116 W Houston Street where I got a Caramel and bought a Chocolate, and visited a cute shop near NYU called Mille-Feuille Bakery and got a Salted Caramel and Cognac macaron.
Despite not being the biggest macaron fan and with the snow fall increasing by the minute, I really was having so much fun going from one destination to the next and seeing which flavors were waiting to be tried.
I was just about to give up, but something kept urging me to keep going, and I’m glad that I did! My final stops were to Bisous, Ciao. Macarons where I was greeted with a sign that said they’d run out of free macarons (but also mentioned that their shop on the LES still had some. Ha! After all the walking I’d done by that point, Homie don’t play that!), Spot Dessert Bar where I tasted a uniquely flavored Thai Tea macaron that I thought I would enjoy being that I love Thai tea, but now think that there are just some flavors that should never be made into a macaron, and my final and favorite stop at Macaron Parlour (111 St. Marks Place) where I picked up a delicious Fig-filled confection.
After about 3 hours, I realized I’d had enough, and decided to head on home. I really did have a great time visiting all of these shops and trying new and different flavors, and although I’m not yet a macaron convert, I will definitely do it again next year, if possible. And what I loved most of all is that this was all for a great cause, and what could be better than that? 😉