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Macarons: Ladurée vs Pierre Hermé

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Macarons: Ladurée vs Pierre Hermé


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Macaron (Macaroons) is a round meringue based confectionery that is made with egg whites, icing sugar, ground almond and food colouring. It is always filled with different flavours of buttercream, jam or ganache. The filling is sandwiched between two rounds of meringue.

There has been a big craze over this little sweet thing. When I was in Paris, I could easily see long queue formed in front of Ladurée. It just seems to be a not-to-be-missed when one is in Paris. I did sometimes crave for macarons and willingly joined the long queue.

Ladurée is a classic and popular choice when comes to macarons.

Its competitor, Pierre Hermé is another popular choice amongst the Parisians. Now, I have been thinking (for a long time!) to compare these 2 heavy-weight. The time came when Arnaud returned from Paris with 2 boxes of macarons – one from Ladurée and the other from Pierre Hermé. When I saw them, not only I was excited as I got to eat them, but I thought it was time to compare and write about them too!

Below is a summary of what I think of both:

1. Price

For the same size of assortment box, Pierre Hermé have about 2 macrons less than Ladurée. So, in terms of almost the same price paid at around € 23.00 – €25.00, Pierre Hermé appear to be slightly more expensive.

2. Packaging

Both appear to have great packaging. However, I find the material use for Pierre Hermé round case seems to be slightly firmer. It has smoother texture, thus nicer to hold.

3. Appearance

Pierre Hermé’s macarons stand out quite easily for its lovely shade and the little touches, such as cocoa powder, small pieces of nuts, silver powder, etc on top of the meringue disc. Ladurée has more conservative and classic colour choices that you would normally expect. Pierre Hermé seems to be more generous with its ganache, so you can easily see the layers clearly – meringue, ganache and meringue. As for Ladurée, the ganache layer seems to be on the stingy side, which could be the reason why it makes it overall less sweet – point 4.

4. Taste

Macarons from Ladurée is less sweet (for me) compared to Pierre Hermé’s. The meringue discs for both are equally great and light. However, I find  the meringue disc from Pierre Hermé is slightly thicker, but still light and not affecting its overall texture.

5. Creativity

Pierre Hermé is the winner in this area. Imaginative combinations of flavours, modern twist and real taste of fruit are carefully considered and well executed. I love the very unusual modern tastes and flavours – huile d’olive à la mandarine (olive oil with mandarin), crème brûlée, chocolate & foie gras, etc. As for Ladurée, it’s more of classic flavours, such as lemon, vanilla, raspberry, rose, chocolate, etc. Having said that, there are new seasonal flavours at Ladurée from time to time.

So, Pierre Hermé seems to be taking the lead in most categories. Which is my favourite?

Personally, I kind of prefer Ladurée, for one reason that it is less sweet. And I am fine with the classic flavours that never go wrong.However, I am completely impressed with Pierre Hermé’s creativity in macarons making.

It’s a tough choice. But, I think I fell for Pierre Hermé, for its generosity of ganache. If I could give one suggestion/request about Pierre Hermé’s macarons, in order to make me a convert, I would say cut down the sweetness slightly and that would make me really happy!

For those who have tried both Ladurée and Pierre Hermé, I would love to hear what you think.

Macarons


Macarons: Ladurée vs Pierre Hermé

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32 Comments

  • Rosa says:

    Until now, I have only tasted Ladurée’s macarons. A great post.

    cheers,

    Rosa

  • I love to look at these pretty macarons 🙂

  • The macaroons are really looks so pretty and i totally love your review, awesome!

  • I liked Laduree until I tried Pierre Herme…Think the Pierre Herme’s ones had a better texture and the flavours were more balanced. 🙂

  • When I go to Paris, I allways buy Ladurée’s macarons (less expensive and less sweet)… But when I bake macarons (I’m far from Paris) I allways choose Pierre Hermé’s flavours with nice combinations “gingembre et rose” “cassis violette” “chocolat passion”…

  • Raluca says:

    Pierre Herme all the way for me! I love them!

  • Bahar says:

    I looveee Pierre Herme…I have tried both but every time I am in Paris I go to Pierre Herme and eat al least 6 a day…

  • Coincidence! I’ve just blogged about my trip to Laduree in Paris. I bought Pierre Herme macarons in London and although they tasted good they were VERY fragile and didn’t even survive the journey to the tube station. I didn’t bother with a box as we were planning to eat them on the way home but even so, they virtually disintegrated despite being careful with the bag. The Laduree macarons from Paris were boxed and much more substantial. Having said all that, I think the flavours of the Pierre Herme were more memorable even if the Strawberry Wasabi one had zero wasabi flavour. My favourite was PH passionfruit. 🙂

  • I’ve yet to taste laduree and pierre’s famous macarons. Looks delish 🙂

  • Mei Teng says:

    I love macarons. Just love the colours and variety of flavours that are available. Macarons are the new cupcakes don’t you think?

  • Erin says:

    I’m not crazy about macarons until I tried PH. The creativity of combination on flavors keeps me want to try one after another! It’s like macarons with layers of colors on a painting…

  • Serareth says:

    I had exactly the same thought – while I prefer Pierre Hermé’s macarons in all the categories you’ve outlined, especially their ingenious and really intense flavours, it tends to be too sweet for me also. I also noticed for some reason that the PH shells were somewhat softer/less crunchy(?) than Ladurée’s, which was not necessarily good or bad, just different.

    At the end of the day, I guess I prefer Ladurée for the same reason as you (plus there’s a store where I live, which there isn’t with PH) however the Caramel au beurre salé, my favourite basic flavour was FAR BETTER at PH. A true conundrum 🙂

    • Great to have another opinion! A lot of Parisian friends of mine love PH and probably because of its unusual flavours or perhaps, its chic and modern image.
      For me, always a Ladurée fan!

  • Eizabete says:

    I am a HUGE fan of Ladurée macarons so when I recently heard about Pierre Hermé macarons – I was intrigued. Little did I know, my dad would be coming home from Paris yesterday with a box of Pierre Hermé macarons for my mom and I.

    I definitely have to agree with you on everything you said, HOWEVER, I think some of the flavours are just a liiiiiitle too ‘exotic’ for me, haha! I like to keep it simple.

    I really loved the crème brûlée and the infiniment chocolat pérou though. Ladurée wins in my opinion because of the simple yet delicious flavours.

  • Belinda P says:

    I have only had macaron from Laduree in Paris and they were lovely but I do feel that the macaron from La Belle Miette in Melbourne compare just as favourably. My question is regarding the price. You do not mention how many macaron you got for the money? I think the macaron at Laduree in Paris were less than 2 euro each but here in Australia you pay almost 4 dollars per macaron at Laduree in Sydney and I find that ridiculous. In fact I think most food (not to mention housing and education etc) is so much cheaper back in Europe that we might just have to relocate back there on that basis alone.

    • Hi Belinda,
      I don’t remember the price but I think it’s about like what you said, less than 2 euro. 4 dollars per macaron in Aust sounds a bit too expensive! I didn’t know that most food is more expensive in Aust than in Europe?
      Actually, it is getting more and more expensive here, that’s what I think! 🙁

  • victor says:

    i’m more for PH macarons. laduree macarons are great and have amazing flavor and texture to them, but PH manages to layer the flavors. you bite into it and you taste multiple flavors at the same time ranging from sweet to savory; and somehow it just works. PH wins in my opinion, just because they manage to combine and layer flavors you would expect in a big entree into one small bite-sized enjoyable piece. 🙂

    btw, you should keep a running tally on the top of your post for how many people choose PH and how many people choose laduree as the winner!

  • Joy says:

    I found that Pierre’s had much more flavour. Laduree were still nice but on this trip I snobbed them.

  • Sharron says:

    I just returned from Pairs and was researching to see how other people felt about Ph vs L – this is why I came across your blog over one year later. 🙂
    My husband and I have always made it a point to stop at Laduree to bring home some of their delicious macaroons. I had heard the PH was also fabulous, so instead of my usual Laduree, I picked up a box for my kids,thinking they would be blown away by an even better macaroon. It was a mistake. Just as you mentioned, PH is lighter, fluffier and “goopier”. There is too much ganache for our tastes. I snuck 2 macaroons each into their lunches and sent some along for a gf. All of the kids reported back that they were much preferred the Laduree macaroons. They did enjoy the rose flavour, but it was still too goopy, too creamy, too fragile. The Laduree macaroons are slightly chewy and seem to be more ‘jammy’ than creamy. I’m sad that I didnt pick up any Laduree, but I did buy both cookbooks and a few candles (one Brioche, one Caramel)- which smell amazing.

  • Adrian says:

    I have tasted both. I find PH somewhat wet/sweet. I orefer Laduree’s classic approach, true to its traditions..love its shiny skin gloss, love its feet, just perfect.PHs feet seemed a little more ruffled. I love laduree’s thickness, somewhat flatter than PH but once it gets in your mouth, its full bodied with the right texture.if you get it fresh, it is moist yet got some crunch.

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