Wednesday, August 2, 2006

Miette Patisserie

Part of the reason for the stop in San Francisco on my recent vacation was to experience the Ferry Terminal Marketplace. It’s home to a bunch of artisan food companies, restaurants and other people associated with the food crafts. Plus, on Saturdays there’s a farmers market.

There are a couple of sweets locations in the Ferry Terminal including a Scharffen Berger store and Recchiuti Confections but for this trip (I’ll be going back again in September) I thought I’d look at Miette Patisserie.

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The store is drop dead cute and reminds me of a forties/fifties-era cookbook. They had a huge selection of cakes and hand-held pastries. But I was interested in candies, of course. There was a large display of handmade lollipops which looked gorgeous and came in sassy flavors like cotton candy, grape and pink lemonade. None of the flavors were marked and the colors weren’t enough for me to discern the code so I passed them by for now.

Instead I was attracted to their Parisian Macaroons (which are not the coconut ones we’re most accustomed to in the States). These macaroons are a hazelnut or almond and egg white based cookie with a filling of some sort. Like a super decadent sandwich cookie. They were $1.50 each ... a little on the pricey side so I didn’t taste one of each flavor (I think there were six varieties).

I picked out:

Hazelnut: a vanilla cookie with a rich nutella-style filling. Sweet and rich but still light and flaky.

Rose Geranium: a delicately floral flavored cookie with a buttery light cream filling in the sandwich. My favorite.

Vanilla: a little sweeter because there was no strong flavor to balance it, but quite nice after a long walk and pleasant lunch.

By the register they also had three large jars of handmade caramels wrapped in wax paper. They were two for $1 so I had two of each.

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Vanilla & Lemon - the wrappers were identical and I’m sorry to say that they all tasted the same. The caramels were nicely soft and sweet and of course had a wonderful slightly burnt sugar taste.

Fleur de Sel - a little darker tasting and with a nice warming sensation of instant salt. Instead of a regular caramel with a little series of grains of salt on the surface as I’ve had at other places, here the salt is completely integrated. The salt really brings out the caramelized notes, but it’s also a bit strong and made my throat sting.

UPDATE: A kind reader, Dan, has informed me that these are made by the Little Flower Candy Company, which makes sense based on the flavor array.

I’m sure their cakes are great and there’s the added bonus that they use organic ingredients whenever possible. Not that something like that makes a pastry more wholesome or anything! The macaroons can be ordered on their website, but not the caramels or lollies. The items are pricey, as is usually the case with labor intensive items. Overall I think I prefer the caramels and macaroons from Boule but since San Francisco doesn’t have a Boule, I can see myself stopping in here on my next trip for a little something to eat. I’m especially interested in trying their Lavender Shortbread (I know, I’ve totally diverged from candy all of a sudden ... I was on vacation!).

Name: Caramels & Macaroons
    RATING:
  • 10 SUPERB
  • 9 YUMMY
  • 8 TASTY
  • 7 WORTH IT
  • 6 TEMPTING
  • 5 PLEASANT
  • 4 BENIGN
  • 3 UNAPPEALING
  • 2 APPALLING
  • 1 INEDIBLE
Brand: Miette Patisserie
Place Purchased: Miette Patisserie (Ferry Terminal, San Francisco)
Price: $.50 for Caramels, $1.50 for Macaroons
Size: varies
Calories per ounce: unknown
Categories: Nuts, Cookie, Caramel, United States, Bay Area

POSTED BY Cybele AT 6:32 am Tracker Pixel for Entry    

Comments
  1. I was there last September.  We were staying right across the street at HotelVitale (which I highly recommend), so we visited the Ferry Building daily.  I became addicted to those macaroons (one of my favorite things), & liked the caramels, too.  Incredible farmers market on Saturday & I wished I was staying somewhere with a kitchen.

    Can’t wait to go back.

    Comment by Sherpa 50 on 8/02/06 at 10:33 am #
  2. Miette makes incredible cakes (try the old fashioned chocolate or the gingerbread!) but not the caramels they carry.  Those are from The Little Flower Candy Co, located in L.A. - and they are are readily available at a number of LA gourmet-to-go shops such as Clementine, Joan’s on Third, Susina Bakery and Auntie Em’s Marketplace, as well as a few of the farmer’s markets.  Little Flower Candy Co also makes what I feel are the best home-made marshmallows anywhere - not cheap, but I like them much better than Plush Puffs.

    Comment by Dan on 8/15/06 at 7:55 am #
  3. Cybele's avatar

    Dan - thanks for the note about the origin of the caramels. I’ve seen them for sale at Susina’s, but I didn’t really want that many of them. This was the first place I’ve seen them by the piece. It would have been nice if they made some notation that’s where they were from.

    Comment by Cybele on 8/15/06 at 8:04 am #
  4. I just found this site, how exciting that you wrote about miette! we are hoping to have Little Flower caramels and the delicious french almond dragees available on our website in the next few weeks. Also, we’re opening a second store in Hayes Valley (in San Francisco) called Miette Confiserie - all candy from around the world. We will be open in January 2007!

    Thanks! caitlin

    Comment by caitlin williams on 11/07/06 at 1:18 am #
  5. smile i’ve been browsing the archives, so i doubt you’ll ever get this comment, but i wanted to comment on the macaron/macaroon thing.

    macaroons, like the coconut ones you mentioned, are a cookie that is similar to a meringue. they originated in italy.

    macarons originated in france, and while both macrons and macaroons are made of egg white, they aren’t similar at all. in fact, i think some people argue that they aren’t even remotely related.

    i, for one, really like macarons.. and won’t touch a macaroon. i have a dislike of meringue as well…

    but anyway, lovely website! i <3 it~

    Comment by little cat on 11/23/06 at 6:00 am #

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