Back in SF, my friend Rachel introduced me to Parisian-style macarons at La Boulangerie, something quite different from the coconut macaroons that I was already in love with. In short, two fragile domes made of whipped egg whites, sugar and almond flour sandwich a sweet filing. It's a quick burst of flavor with an at-once delicate, chewy, and creamy texture. To make them even more fun, they have to be consumed in 24 hours or they deflate and lose their magic.
Once in Zurich, I discovered Luxemburgerlis at Sprüngli, which I have up until now mistaken as Parisian macarons based on my experience at La Boulangerie. Then I went to Paris and found something entirely different. It's all the same idea. But while all Luxemburgerlis have a cream filling, Parisian macarons have all sorts of sweet stuff inside: caramel, jelly, ganache, etc. Plus the luxemburgerli domes are perfectly smooth, round and tall, while macarons are lumpy and squat as shown above. This may sound negative, but it actually makes for a quite pleasurable mouthfeel. Based on my limited experience, I think Parisian macarons are also a bit more expensive. I paid about 2 euros per macaron, while luxemburgerlis are only about .40 euros. Of course, they are also much smaller, but then you can sample more flavors for less money.
Lastly, this picture demonstrates why you shouldn't carry around macarons in your backpack, smash city. Thank you Sprüngli for always packing theirs in a box, never a bag.