French-Style Macaroons: The Little Mac Makes a Comeback

Where to find cream-filled meringues Marie Antoinette would swoon for.

By: Todd Kliman, Ann Limpert

Watching Sofia Coppola’s lush film Marie Antoinette, you’d think the party girl/queen’s infamous quip was “Let them eat macaroons.” Those pink and green moundlets of egg whites, ground almonds, and sugar are as vital to the film’s period detail as the hoop skirts.

Coppola’s pastry consultant was Ladurée, the Paris patisserie that transforms meringue into ethereal, melt-in-the-mouth bites.

Paris is a plane ticket away, but two French patisseries in this area—Patisserie Poupon in Georgetown (1645 Wisconsin Ave., NW; 202-342-3248) and Praline in Bethesda’s Sangamore Plaza (4611 Sangamore Rd.; 301-229-8180)—will more than satisfy a craving.

Poupon does a fabulous pistachio buttercream-filled version along with classic almond, chocolate, lemon, and raspberry flavors—all at $14 a pound.

At Praline, round trays are piled high with pistachio, hazelnut, and chocolate macaroons, all sandwiching luscious chocolate ganache (95 cents each). Besides traditional lemon and raspberry, they’re also doing an almond macaroon with almond-paste filling.

For the record: Antoinette, though certainly frivolous and spoiled, never did utter the “Let them eat cake” line. She was the victim of 18th-century tabloid frenzy—and she didn’t have a publicist to make it all go away.