I have to admit that recently, I have been a bit obsessed with macarons. I asked for them on Valentine's Day because that's all I really wanted (and perhaps some nice jewellry...) but seriously. Those little delectable bites make me and my tastebuds happy. The colour, the look, the flavour, the crispness and chewiness of the meringues are just awesome! My boyfriend and I were going to Canmore for the long weekend so I figured we could stop by Calgary to see what they have to offer for these great little French treats.
I had already done my macaron research prior to the trip. I am sure Calgary has more than two places that make macarons, but two caught my attention with the limited amount of time we had: Yann Haute Patisserie and M for macaron.
Yann Haute Patisserie
Isn't it cute?
This wonderful, antique-looking, yellow house is situated in the Mission area of Calgary, (south of the Saddledome ) just off of MacLeod Trail. I honestly have not been to this area of Calgary, but it sure is beautiful. We drove by many eclectic looking restaurants and beautiful condos right by a small creek. I regret not taking any pictures of the interior of the bakery (everyone seemed too busy), so you'll have to imagine what it looked like, or go see for yourselves! The actual bakery/store is very small inside. The product display is a little similiar to Duchess Bake Shop; glass encases the baked goods. There wasn't a grand selection, but there were pastries, and of course, lots of macarons!
I chose all 7 different flavours that day: lemon, pistachio, chocolate, strawberry, blackcurrant & violet, Irish Cream and the flavour of the day: orange & carrot. These were some pretty interesting flavours that I have never heard of for macarons.
You can't miss the bright yellow and pastel purple!
M for macaron
M for macaron is located in Calgary's Kingsland Farmers Market.
Next stop was M for macaron. M for macaron does not have a permanent place of residence, but are currently located in the Kingsland Farmers Market in Calgary. My boyfriend and I stopped to try a sample of the pizza stand next door, when I looked over and saw what I was looking for: macarons! What an astonishing array of flavours-I felt like a kid in candy store! We chatted it up with the part-owner, who owns the macaron stand with his wife, who is also the baker. What is also great about them is that they also offer macaron classes for those who are interested in making them, as well as eating them (me for sure!). More information is available on their website.
May I have one of each, please?
I'll have to admit that the flavours offered here were very unique and unheard of (for me) for macarons. My boyfriend and I chose 3 flavours each; he chose strawberry-banana, strawberry and green tea, and the flavour of the day, peanut butter and Welch's grape jelly, while I chose toasted coconut, salted caramel and raspberry passionfruit.
M for Macaron macarons!
Comparison & flavour tasting
My boyfriend was never a huge fan of macarons until we tried these ones from Calgary. The sizes of these macarons were 1/4 larger than the ones from Duchess (the only other ones we've ever tried). We both agreed that the slightly larger size is just the right portion for a sweet tooth. With that being said, my boyfriend gave praise to M for macaron macarons. With unique flavours, their meringue cookies had just the right chewiness and crispiness. They tasted what they should have. I'll have to second that-M for macaron did very well. Though I'm not big on crazy flavours, their flavours tasted exactly what they should have. They weren't overpowering, but prominent enough so if one would not know the flavour, one would be able to tell. Their meringue cookies were just the perfect consistency, too.
As for Yann's Haute Patisserie macarons, we both agreed they were aesthetically beautiful. The flavour and consistency were a bit disappointing for us. The meringue cookies were too dry and lacked chewiness, and the flavours weren't as prominent as M for Macaron. Perhaps they weren't fresh that day, or wasn't a good batch. Either way we thought they could of done better.
Compared to Duchess' macarons and the ones I've tried in Calgary, I feel like I am still a loyalist. Though their macarons may be small, they got the flavours and textures just right. But that is not to say that next time we are in Calgary, we won't be stopping for macarons. M for Macaron will have to be a must stop. I will still give Yann's another shot as they have other pastries I would love to try, and well, macarons don't always turn out perfect (though they are a professional patisserie).
(On a side note: the farmers' market is definitely one place you should check out when you are in Calgary. It is open year-round and they offer a great variety of produced and locally produced goods.)
Verdict: very scrumptious!
-M for Macaron is located in the Kingsland Farmers Market on 7711 MacLeod Trail (1 min. south of Chinook Mall -Yann Haute Patisserie is located at329, 23rd Avenue S.W., Calgary , Alberta