The macaron is a much-loved French sweet delicacy, often eaten with coffee mid afternoon or as dessert. They are popular all over France (and abroad) but Cannes has some particularly wonderful macaron institutions. Here’s our guide to where macaron lovers can find the best.
The word macaron comes from the Italian macarone, which means meringue. They are sort of like a round sweet sandwich of meringue, filled inside with buttercream – typically a fruit or chocolate flavour, but sometimes it can be savoury. They are treated as delicacies in France, and prepared and sold like works of art.
There are contentious debates about when they first became fashionable in France. Macarons had been eaten in Venice since the 8th century and during the Renaissance, it is said that Catherine de Medici brought her pastry chef (and the macaron) with her when she arrived to marry Henry II of France. There are also two nuns in Nancy who are said to have made macarons during the time of the French Revolution in the 1790s, to pay for their sanctuary. The modern version is often attributed to the pastry chefs at Patisserie Ladurée in Paris who later experimented with different flavours and increased their popularity. Macarons are now found all over France, with lots of regional variations, and Cannes is no exception. Here are three of the top places to sample some of the best macarons around town.
The Jean-Luc Pelé patisserie is classed as the best in Cannes and its macarons don’t disappoint. Pelé trained at Lenôtre, the famous Parisian pastry house before branching out on his own. He uses lots of pastel colours, has amazing packaging and creates macarons flavoured sweet, but also savoury – he makes four different types of fois gras macaron.
Opening hours: Daily, 9am to 7.30pm
36 Rue Meynadier, Cannes, + 33 (0)4 93 38 06 10
Lenôtre (where Pelé trained) has its own patisserie branch in Cannes. It’s a Parisian chain founded by Gastron Lenôtre, who was apparently the inspiration behind the chef rat, Auguste Gusteau in Ratatouille. It offers just seven different flavours (passionfruit and chocolate, for example) but each are executed perfectly and come in handy tins that protect the macaron in transit.
Opening hours: Mon-Sat, 9am to 7pm. Closed Sundays.
63 Rue d’Antibes, Cannes, + 33 (0)4 97 06 67 67
Ladurée is another Cannes institution that people adore. Macarons are gift wrapped with flair in an amazing variety of boxes and include traditional flavours such as fleur d’orange and pistachio.
Opening hours: Daily, 10am to 7pm (8pm Saturdays)
79 Rue D’Antibes Cannes, Cannes +33 (0)4 93 38 05 06