Thursday, 19 July 2012

Macaron Hunting Abroad: Part Trois. I'll be damned.

Fake boobs, false sense of glamor, artificial sense of wealth, hotels that are all designed to look like something else. The Las Vegas strip is the phoniest place I've ever visited and frankly, not my favorite place on earth. I don't really gamble but luckily I like to drink and people watch so I guess its not all bad. I hadn't expected to find any French Macarons while there on a recent business trip but thought I'd look anyways since macaron hunting abroad has become a fun part of my project.
Well imagine my surprise when not only did I find some (appropriately at hotel Paris) but that they were some of the best I've eaten (besides my own obviously. That's not saying that I'm a superstar but I make 'em with love, damnit). Though, the experience was altogether unauthentic: an angry black woman from New Jersey sold them to me out of a damp and somewhat clinical looking display cabinet in a hotel in a sleazy American city that was made to look like one of the most beautiful on earth. To make the experience authentic to Vegas, my friend and I sat down at a slot machine and sunk our teeth into perfection. My only complaint is that they were carelessly filled with plain old raspberry jam. Its a shame to get that far then crap out at the end. It would be like getting brand new fake boobs, healed and ready to show off for swimsuit season only to wear loose turtle neck sweaters.

Purple Shows Sweat.

I have a couple friends who get sweaty upper lips when they're really hot. I'm not one of those people. In general, I'm not a very sweaty person. Last week was an exception. We were experiencing a heat wave where I live and I loved it. It was so hot, in fact, that I experienced this sweaty upper lip phenomenon that I have often teased my saucy friends of having. So what better time then during a heat wave to bake! And even better yet, to bake French Macarons, which require that the oven be on for over an hour. Fun tidbit that is the basis of this entry: weather can effect the success or failure of macaron shells, especially humidity. We're lucky here because in general its a very dry climate so that's one thing we can all cross off our lists of variables that will muck with the success of this endeavor.
Except for last week. High humidity, high heat, an air conditioner that poo-pooed out this season and macarons that had to be made for a friend before I left town for a week meant that I became sweatier than I ever remember being before and apparently this didn't sit well with my meringues either. Small spots appeared on the shells the day after I baked them. I have no explanation for this nor could I find one. I guess dogs pant, humans sweat from their upper lips and macarons sweat out in little unsightly spots.