Who makes the best macaron on the North Shore? Who better to sort this out than staff of the French Institute of the North Shore, who surely must know an excellent macaron from one that’s merely good?
The French Institute celebrated la Journée internationale des macarons (International Macaron Day) by hosting a contest to find the “Best Macaron of the North Shore.” A macaron is a delicate and airy French pastry made with two biscuits held together by a butter-cream, ganache or jam filling. The biscuits are made from almonds, sugar and egg-whites, and they have a light and crunchy outside and slight chewy inside.
A panel of seven French Institute staff participated in a blind taste-test of macarons from five North Shore bakeries: Bennison’s Bakery of Evanston; Bon Macaron of Chicago, also available at Sunset Foods in Highland Park; Patisserie Coralie of Evanston; Café Fleurette of Winnetka, located in the Winnetka train station; and Trader Joe’s of Evanston, selling frozen macarons at all Trader Joe’s locations.
The panel then voted for their favorites. Their comments varied, noting the taste, texture and sweetness of the macarons they tried. The results of the competition close, and happily, the overall consensus is that North Shore residents have access to delicious French macarons no matter which bakery they choose.
The results are in, and the French Institute is proud to announce the 2015 winners for the “Best Macaron of the North Shore.”
First Place: Patisserie Coralie
Cost: $2.00 each; $11 for a box of 6; $22 for a box of 12
Comments: “Delicious filling with a slightly crunchy outside. Very fresh with an excellent taste. Not too sweet.” “Melt-in-your-mouth macaron – excellent! Very good taste.” “Soft, creamy filling. Yum!”
Second Place: Bennison’s Bakery
Cost: $1.47 each
Comments: “Good texture. Perfect taste: neither too strong nor too subtle.” “Good texture with a perfect balance of flavor. Appealing appearance.”
Submitted by the French Institute of the North Shore