Macarons at Pascal - Santa Ana
Cupcakes, schmupcakes. I never came on board that train; but you can count me in as a passenger on the macaron bandwagon. A few years ago, there was a run on these crispy, chewy, multi-hued and flavor-filled pastries that look like mini burgers. I vaguely remember more than a few exuberant posts Chowhound touting the macarons at Boule, a now defunct bakery. Now, macarons are everywhere.
The best I’ve found so far are made by Pascal Olhats, the chef I most associate with anything French that’s worth consuming in OC. I’m not the only one that thinks so. A co-worker routinely compares Pascal’s macarons to those he’s had in Paris. They’re just as light, he says. To beg forgiveness for his transgressions, he buys them for his wife in lieu of flowers.
The merits of a good macaron, he says to me like an expert lecturer on the subject, is measured on how close it is to eating air. After all, macarons are pretty much a meringue with almond flour added for structural integrity. It can’t be at all dense; and it has to be crispy, leading to a delicate tacky chew on the inside. Ideally it should crumble and melt upon contact with your mouth, whereupon it just caves in on itself, subsiding like a sandcastle at high tide.
Available on the day I went to Pascal at Hutton Center were pistachio, lemon, strawberry, chocolate and chocolate banana. At $0.85 a piece, they’re half the price most bakeries would charge. I’ve seen macarons retail at prices around $1.60 per piece elsewhere. It must be said that Pascal’s macarons are, however, smaller than most. You can conceivably put two your mouth and still have room for one more—their diameters just slightly larger than a quarter…with the cost of about three and a dime.
2 Hutton Centre Dr
Santa Ana, CA 92707
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