Wednesday, April 04, 2007

macaron vs. luxemburgerli

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.

vanilla Parisian macaron
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.

Luxemburgerlis from Sprüngli
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.

smashed macarons are still yummy
If you'd like to try making them yourself, I recommend Kuidaore, one of my favorite food blogs, which has several lovely and educational postings on the subject.


Astrid said...

Interesting. I guess macarons come in multiple forms. I've always considered the ultimate to be the ones from Ladurée. They are very smooth, a little flatter, and less sweet and creamy than the Luxemburgerli. Someone who is quite an expert at making this kind is Mercotte. Her blog is in French but there are many posts about macarons, with pictures that may be helpful.

Anonymous said...

Are you sure that Luxemburgerli are less expensive (per 100 g) than macarons? If so, I'd be really surprised, as by general perception, they're very expensive in Switzerland. Sprüngli is a top-end confiserie.

Luxemburgerli are probably my top favorite sweet. They're extremely delicious, tasty and smooth. It's a pity that they're so friggin expensive :(

resakille said...

I paid about 1.8 CHF per Luxembergurli as of July 2011 in Zurich. It's not .40 EUR. I wish. :) It's heavenly. My friend, who travels around the world, thinks that Luxembergurli is better than the macaroon at Ludaree.

Tanya D said...

Either my math was way off or the exchange rate from CHF->EUR was much different way back in 2007. Or maybe both. Since we now have a Laduree in Zurich, we can do a real price comparison. I don't remember exactly but I think Laduree macarons cost about 2.50sfr/each when I went a couple weeks ago, but they are also a bit bigger. Now I'm curious to investigate the per gram price between all the contenders. I think Laduree macarons are quite different from luxemburglis, both good in their own ways. But in any case, these days I'd prefer to eat peanut butter macarons from Vollenweider.

Anonymous said...

I ran into this distinction recently. I had always known about the Sprungli version and liked them, but not that much. A few days ago I had the French version at a fancy reception in mid-town Manhattan. WHAT a difference. The French have it all over the Swiss in this area. Sadly, the French version (about 2 bites) is $2.50 a pop. On the other hand, when in Zurich last month I discovered I could not stand to pay 8 Swiss Francs for a simple cup of Starbucks. So I hate to think what the Luxemburgerli cost now. Rob

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