A Taste of France

Photography by Ashley Meyer

Most conversations about macarons inevitably lead to a fond memory of Parisian patisseries like Ladurée, Pierre Hermé, or Fauchon. But despite its association with elegant French simplicity, the macaron actually originated in Italy. Along with high heels, corsets, and perfume, Catherine de’ Medici of Florence introduced an early version of the cookie to France in the 1500s when she married the country’s eventual king, Henry II. The confection rose to popularity, and French bakers birthed the modern macaron in the mid-1900s by joining two wafers with ganache filling. In Palm Beach, veteran pastry chef Patrick Lézé brings nearly 40 years of experience in France to the pastel-hued treats at his namesake bakery as well as Paneterie in West Palm Beach and Delray Beach. As chic as they are délicieux, Lézé’s melt-in your-mouth macarons, available in flavors like rose lychee, have become a giftable tradition. One heavenly bite proves that while the Italians may have invented the macaron, the French perfected the art. (patrickleze.com; paneterie.com)

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