The first macaron I ever had was about 5 years ago at Laduree in Paris, France. I was backpacking and had a strict budget of $30 per day for food. I bought one macaron (salted caramel), sat on the sidewalk as I ate it, got back in line, and bought $90 worth of more macarons. I got to try every flavor and they were the only food I ate for the next three days. It was the best purchase I’ve ever made in my entire life. I’m serious. Here is a picture of me drunk in a hostel making two of my macarons kiss.
So, could Trader Joe’s Pumpkin Macarons hold their own against my absinthe-tinted memories of macarons past? Probably not, but I was happy to give them a shot. TJ’s has regular macarons for sale year round, but these pumpkin ones are limited edition. Opening the package, these guys are bite sized and nicely colored. They don’t give off much of a pumpkin smell, but the filling looks promising.
Holy pumpkin perfection, Batman. The textures and flavors in this macaron are very nearly flawless. This is a huge deal–macarons are a BITCH to get right. I’ve tried and failed enough times to respect just how difficult they are to pull off. Most of the time I don’t even bother buying them if I see them, because I’m almost always disappointed: the shell will be crispy or hollow, or the filling will be too jam-like or airy. There will be one small misstep in that complicated dance and the whole endeavor will just leave me angrily googling last-minute plane tickets to France.
But these! These defy all reason and logic! They come from the freezer, an indication of a dry and lifeless taste experience if ever I knew one, and yet they deliver the complete opposite! They are light, they are chewy, they are sweetly spiced and depart an amazing aftertaste of all things orange and gourd-like. They melt away in your mouth with an effervescence that will leave you reaching for the next one almost automatically. In the words of Voltaire, they are the best of all possible pumpkin worlds.
The absolute only flaw I can think of here is that they are very, very sweet–you probably won’t want more than one or two. But in small doses, or with coffee, it’s an incredibly delicious treat. I, for one, am glad that I can now get a damn fine macaron fix without having to fly to Europe. Drop what you are doing and eat Trader Joe’s Pumpkin Macarons. If you’re already eating them, good job and let’s be friends.
Rationale for Why There’s A Phone Above My Bed In That Picture Rating: 2 out of 10
Likelihood That I’ll Have Any Macarons Left For Coffee In The Morning Rating: 3.5 out of 10
Overall Rating: 9.5 out of 10