Francophile Friday: Ei-Ffel Like Macarons

ink & watercolour illustration, 7" x 8.75" [18 x 22.5cm]

Macarons and the Eiffel Tower all in one illustration?  "What's the special occasion, Shell?" you ask.  And you would be wearing your astute and perceptive hat, or better yet, beret ~ we're marking a special occasion, indeed.

One of my beautiful girlfriends is having a certain birthday in a few days.  I really wish we were celebrating together, and if we happened to be in Paris, even better.  I'll leave it up to her to put up her hand if she feels so inclined, but only if she really wants to.  Otherwise, she can remain a woman of mystery and we who are worldly~wise will nod sagely and not let curiosity get the better of us while she keeps her own counsel about such things.  This much of a hint I disclose: she will really love this scenery!!

Thanks to sweet Katie for the gorgeous photo inspiration.  As Katie is presently travelling in exotic locations, I can't check, but I'm pretty sure {based on the chandelier and ceiling} that this was taken while she was pressed up against Stohrer's window, though not at the same time as Virginia.   Since 1730, this dreamy pâtisserie has been producing some of the most delicious calories ever to be walked off in Paris.  There are so many chocolate and violet macarons here, we can all enjoy them and I'm sure no-one at Stohrer will be any the wiser that we got up to mischief in their window.  So, Happy Birthday, nearly-birthday-girl, and on that note...

Happy Francophile Friday to you all!


  1. Now you've really outdone yourself this time, Shell. This is an absolutely exhilirating sketch which I'm sure the mystery woman will adore for her birthday. Happy Birthday mystery girl!!

    Oh for a violet macaron .. my mouth is watering.

  2. Oh deux Francophile Fridays in a row. Be still my heart. Well it is not my birthday but believe me this is makes it seem as if it is. Lovely macrarons. I need one (or two) with my tea this morning SHSh. Maybe I'll just have one of yours! :)

  3. Happy Birthday, whoever you may be. I'm sure you're honored. (This will also make a certain dog scratch at your door.)

  4. Thanks for these illustrations, ShSh. It's the next best thing to the real deal!

    What have I started? Maybe it wasn't Laduree who begun it all afterall!

    And, Happy B-Day to the lucky lady.

  5. I remember Katie's photo of this! Another wonderful rendering, Shell. Love the use of Ei-Ffel. I think I'm stealing that one, but will be sure to give you credit. ;-)


    And a yummy one at that. Well done!!

  7. Happy birthday to your friend. I hope you can find a real tower of Macarons to eat.

  8. Thank you all for your kindness and to dearest Shell for the lovely tribute. It means more than I can say.

    Bean: welcome to Shell's world. Nice to meet you.

  9. Thank you, MmeB ~ I had to fight off the cravings while I was doing this!

    Virginia ~ my pleasure! And don't limit yourself to one, please ~ it's like the Golden Goose of macaron towers.

    Hiker ~ you were right. Of course.

    Cafe ~ you are a shepherd of foodie trends.

    Cali ~ I was worried the Ei-Ffel was a tad obtuse ~ but we must be on the same wavelength of obtusity. ;)

    ET Suzy ~ merci, merci, merci!

    Hi, Bean ~ thank you for dropping in! If I can't find a tower, a jarful would be a nice consolation prize. :)

    Anon ~ you're more than welcome! x

  10. Ahhhh A hint of Paris and sweet things to eat. I can't think of anything to say. I can only sigh.

  11. Happy birthday, Anonymous!

    I remember Katie's photo, too (hard to forget).

    Shell, I'm so glad you posted this today, and that all the experts are here, because I heard the MOST DISTRESSING story on the radio this afternoon that has me confused. They described these delicacies and talked about the American craze for them, and they kept calling them MACAROONS.

    Cafe, didn't you explain it to us? And you are right, I'm quite sure, that the macaroon is the coconut delicacy and the macaron is this lovely round pastel thingy.

    Help me, please, I'm so confused.

  12. Thanks, Debs ~ and have a lovely dinner tomorrow night! I hope there are no car or motorbike parts involved.

    Petrea ~ that is distressing!! Your understanding of Cafe's excellent post is correct ~ the macaroon is the coconut thingo and the macaron is this lovely round pastel thingy. We must continue to spread the word. Macaron Lovers, Unite!! Ok, who's in charge of t-shirts?

  13. Thank you Sherree. After the Top Gear show last night I have definitely overdosed on all things motoring. Am hoping for something at least a tad glittery or frilly. Hope you have a wonderfully romantic day tomorrow.

  14. Happy Birthday Anon!

    I love this illustration, ahh Eiffel Macarons. MMM. I can't wait to have them while actually in France.

    I just heard a news story last night on public radio that macarons are finally catching on in the United States and are becoming the next "trendy" dessert. It's taking over from cupcakes, and I don't know how I feel about it. Though if it means I can find macarons more easily, yay!

  15. Amy, Amy, Amy-- was it the same story I heard? Were they calling them "macaroons?"

  16. Oh goodness, if I had seen something like this, don't know if I'd have treated it as a gorgeous piece of art or eaten the whole thing like the delectable treat it surely is.

    Off to ponder this conundrum, hungry all of a sudden...

  17. Petrea - yes! That's the one. At first I thought they meant the Americanized things with coconut since they said macaroons. But I thought, "No, it's NPR, surely they know it would be macarons if they're discussing the lovely French delicacies."

    Apparently not. :(

  18. The discussion rages in the comments on the story at NPR:

  19. Oh, wow—I'd like to thank the genius at Stohrer who thought to combine two of my absolute fave things, Katie for the photo inspiration, and our Shell even more for capturing the result so beautifully!

  20. Thanks, Debs ~ and I hope it's even more than a tad glittery and/or frilly. :)

    Amy ~ though I'm lucky to be able to treat myself to very nice ones locally, being in Paris is an ingredient that must surely elevate them from tasty morsels to the sublime.

    Petrea, thank you for the NPR link ~ I see the photo caption {maybe edited after some of the outrage} is "Cupcakes Are So 2005: The latest "it" dessert is the macaroon ... or macaron, if you want to be French about it." Is that like someone named Pierre moving to the US and some people taking it on themselves to call him Peter {whether he likes it or not.} :)

    Alexa ~ the macaron pyramids are beautiful, but this shape is something else!

  21. Thanks for the link, Petrea.

    So, a TV program is behind this craze? I wondered why Starbucks was selling macarons imported from France (spelled macaroons on the box. American translation? lol) for a limited time in Dec. They should keep the French spelling so one doesn't think of those awful coconut blobs. How difficult is it to pronounce macaron?

    Happy Valentine's Day, Shell. Hope you are enjoying the day so far.

  22. PCN ~ sorry, I missed your comment in amongst the macaroon/macaron adventures. :) In the case of art vs food in artful food, my tummy usually wins over.

    Thanks, Cali!!

  23. Thanks for the link Petrea, I'm glad I'm not the only one.

    "Is that like someone named Pierre moving to the US and some people taking it on themselves to call him Peter {whether he likes it or not.} :)"

    Shell - you hit the nail on the head.

  24. Amy ~ I guess it's better than calling Pierre John though. :)

  25. Well, although my readers, including Petrea, appear to be educated (to the tune of about 90% of them) about coconut vs meringue based mac's, the French version are still new to US.

    And, a foodie friend told me macaron is not even pronounced like macaroon which makes sense.

    I don't have the time to go on a nationwide educational campaign. Rather use the time to explore eating.

    However, I do like NPR headline about the cupcake making room for the macaron. Cupcakes are one of my least fav desserts. Not that they're bad. Just that they're rarely good. Only this month did I finally tasted a Red velvet I liked and it wasn't at one of these specialty cupcake joints.

    Luckily, the only cupcake store I like is nearby here in Pasadena: Polkatots, the winner of the best cupcake competition last year in LA/OC area.

    In fact, coconut lover that I amy, I tried their coconut cupcake yesterday. Preparing to be disappointed...instead I was happy. It was wunderful!

  26. Cafe ~ I've often found the cupcake to be a visual treat that doesn't quite live up to its promise. But then again, I've known some people like that, too. :)

  27. Ah, the macaron/macaroon connection is still alive and well. Everywhere I go it's one or the other and sometimes both. I haven't had a macaron but hope to soon - I think it will have to come from my kitchen, though.

  28. Paula ~ from the looks of the several and varied macaron recipes I've seen, you're a patient woman. :)

  29. Thanks for the NPR link, Petrea. I've hyperlinked it here in the hope that Paula will try the recipe and send some well-deserved macarons (NOT macaroons) to Shell.

  30. Alexa ~ you're a good woman. :)

    Paula ~ if you gently place them in tissue-lined egg cartons surrounded by dry ice and packed into an insulated foam box, then send them via express FedEx, they will arrive to me in pristine condition and I will send you a medal. ;)

  31. Well then I'll just have a plate full my dear Shsh.
    You make my French heart sing!

  32. I'm back from my travels, and am happy to report that I ate a little macaron in Thailand! Not as good as the ones from Paris, but hey, a girl's gotta eat a macaron wherever she can find one! Lovely drawing -- but now I want to pack my bags again to head back to Paris!

  33. Katie, welcome home!! I feel that way about the ones I buy here ~ they are missing that extra mystique, but still give me a little piece of the dream.


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