I don’t have much of a sweet tooth, which seems like a huge waste of having a pastry chef for a mother, I know. I’m more of a salty, savory person–I crave french fries pretty much on a daily basis. But I do get the occasional hankering for something sweet, and when I do, it’s never something easy or general like “chocolate” or “ice cream” or “donut.” I get sharp, acutely specific cravings for things like fleur de sel caramels, or the vanilla bean panna cotta I had ONCE at a restaurant in New York, or the candied orange peels my grandmother’s best friend makes only around Christmas time. With these sorts of cravings, frustration ensues and usually leads me to ransack my kitchen cabinets in the hopes of fabricating some sort of quick fix. (Nutella spread on flour tortillas, anyone?)

Yesterday, I had one of my obscure cravings, and I was consumed by an obsession so strong that I proceeded to spend an hour or so scanning the Web to find the perfect place to get my fix. What was I craving, you ask? Macarons. No, not the chewy, coconut kind that can be found at every Jewish bakery on Fairfax mere blocks from my home, like these:

Maccaroons (two o's)

Macaroons (two o's)

Oh no. That would have been too easy. I was craving French Macarons, something I didn’t even know about (much less craved) before visiting Paris last September with my mother. But being in the City of Light with a pastry chef, I tried just about every flavor of the delicate little sandwich cookie from just about every patisserie in the city. Oh yes, we were thorough. And I was hooked.

But only now did my craving hit, nearly a year after my trip to Paris and several months after the only real Parisian style patisserie I knew of in Los Angeles closed its doors. Typical. But I was determined. I found a little place in Beverly Hills, run by a Parisian export (so you know she’s a pastry snob), and somehow this is what excited me the most—the place ONLY sells macarons. It’s like they’re saying, in the stereotypical snooty French accent, of course, “Our macarons are so perfect, so beautiful, so delicious, we need not bother with other lesser pastries.” Unfortunately, by the time I finished my “research,” it was around 8 o’clock at night, well after the place had closed for the day. I’d have to wait, and maybe without appeasing it, my craving would just pass on its own…

When I woke up this morning, before I turned off my alarm clock, before I thought about coffee (which is always first on my mind), I had a sudden, singular thought–“MACARONS!” So no, the craving did not pass, and I would have to submit to its will. I headed off to Beverly Hills and picked up my treats. A LOT of them. Let’s put it this way, when I was picking out what I wanted, the woman behind the counter suggested, “Perhaps you’d prefer a box? It fits 24.” I felt the urge to tell her I was having a party, or had a large family–something to excuse my gluttony. But I shook it off. I mean, it’s Beverly Hills. They’re gonna look down on you for SOMETHING.

I didn’t eat them all in one sitting, as I initially feared, but have already had a few. Of the flavors I’ve tried so far, the raspberry and coffee flavors were just like the kinds I had in Paris–light and delicious. The coconut was forgettable–a little too sweet and kind of artificial tasting. And the violet cassis was delightful–a little different but not strange, and very flavorful. I plan to savor the rest over the next couple of days (they’ll keep for 5 days in the fridge, but are extremely sensitive to humidity). I might even share a few. Might…

French macarons

French macarons