Friday, September 23, 2016

Le Macaron: Truffle Selection

In Scottsdale, there is an outdoor shopping mall with two names. On one side of the main street, it is Kierland Commons and on the other side, it is Scottsdale Quarter. On the former side is Anthropologie and on the latter side are Sephora, the Apple Store, and Paper Source. I usually find myself more on the Scottsdale Quarter side, and yet somehow I had never seen the pastry and chocolate store there.

It's toward the end of one of the rows, past Paper Source. I usually don't wander around here, I guess, or even look at the directory. But there it is, a bistro-like shop with a glass front and pink sign. "Le Macaron," advertising macarons, pastries, truffles, gelato, and coffee. Inside, the shop is impeccably clean, decorated in bright colors against white for a modern and bright look. Paired with all the white, the pink doesn't look girly, just youthful and happy.

I will, next time, have to try the macarons, but I did get a just a taste of the violet gelato. I'm not an ice cream person, but I could have happily finished this one myself. To say that it was very good would be an understatement. If it's anything of an example of their other flavors, this is a great stop for gelato.

But I was, of course, after the truffles. They're all lined up in their glass case on black squares. They're attractive and singular-looking. Once again, we have the bright splashes of color, colors that I don't usually see on truffles: bright blues and pinks and purples. I took home the following three flavors.

Chocolate Chocolate - This one is shaped like a long pyramid, with splashes of blue, hot pink, and purple. Plain chocolate is usually my obligatory flavor for trying out a new chocolate maker because it shows what they're capable of and what their style is. The ganache is smooth, and while the chocolate is dark, it's definitely on the sweet side. The taste of the ganache is creamy and the chocolate tastes of berries. It's nice.

Milk Chocolate Vanilla Bean - Kind of weird to eat a chocolate in the shape of lips, but okay--it definitely gives the youthful and cool look, especially with those pink and light blue color splashes. The inside of this chocolate is a little lighter in color than with the Chocolate one. It tastes like caramel, then it tastes of vanilla--the type of vanilla that they spray into the air on Main Street in Disneyland to make it smell sweet and nostalgic. The chocolate is noticeably different from with the first truffle; it's sweeter here. And the ganache tastes rather like a vanilla caramel. It's a nice, sweet chocolate, just not quite what I was expecting from the name. Not simply "Vanilla" but "Vanilla Bean" implies something less confection-like.

Strawberry Reisling - A round shape painted purple with some light blue on top creates something like a pretty, funky flower. Very nice. Now, I do want to point out that the bottom layer of chocolate on this truffle was quite thick (same situation with the Vanilla Bean, actually); it needs to be thinner to match the sides and to make for better biting. I wasn't sure if the inside would have some color to it, but it has the same chocolate look as the Vanilla Bean's. You get the strawberry flavor in pretty quickly, though; it has the flavor effect of strawberry jam with creamy butter. The chocolate is more on the sidelines, a flavor to hold it all in rather than to take the dominant place. Funnily enough, this one didn't feel as sweet as the Vanilla Bean did. I like the creamy taste paired with the strawberry; that made for a unique effect.

Overall, they're nice little chocolates for when you're out and about and want a bite of sweet. I would probably keep on trying new flavors before coming back to these. But I would keep trying them. I'm uncertain how to categorize them, though. They're neither sophisticatedly serious truffles nor what I call confections. They're made well but kept sweet, probably in order to have a wider appeal. So they land somewhere in between all of my categories. So I'm putting them in the dessert category. They do have quite nice boxes, too, which would make them good hostess gifts--or gifts in general.

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