Adriano Zumbo. A name that is associated with great, unique and occasionally odd collection of cakes, desserts and, of course, macarons. A master craftsman of his trade; I would doubt that you would find a better macaron, or one that is more unique, in or around the Sydney area.
So, when such an artisan looks to celebrate his birthday (Friday, 6th November), what can one expect?
Well, from the eyes of a food obsessed fan of his creations such that I am, you can expect an early morning rise in order to meet and queue up with other food obsessed fans. People such as fellow food bloggers Helen (Grab Your Fork) and Susan (Chocolatesuze) with the three of us arriving 30 minutes prior to opening time. Others, such as Trina (Foraging Otaku) and Belle (Ohh, Look…), join us in the queue along with other early birds soon afterwards.
The queue starts to build momentum as the time approaches the store’s opening hour of 8am.
Actually, quite a lot of momentum. For a Friday morning no less.
An occasional passerby lets their curiosity get the better of them and stops to enquire about the reason for the queue.
Why, Macaron Day, of course!
What better way to celebrate Adriano Zumbo’s birthday than to have a day devoted to a vast array of unique, limited edition macarons.
The passerby, seemingly regretting his decision to succumb to his curiosity, shakes his head and moves on.
Though the window display pictured above stated optimistically 60 flavours would be available, I believe the final number was closer to 50. However, oh what a collection of 50 they were! Though, more on that later.
The staff arrive with a van load of white cake boxes filled with macarons and proceed to setup shop as the building queue anxiously waits. Then whispers start to buzz around the staff. “Is he coming”? Should we wait for him?
There was a scheduled meet & greet with Adriano at 11am. I’d given up on meeting up with him once more as I had other things I needed to see to that day. Surely, they don’t mean that he’s coming now?
Surely enough, the birthday boy makes his entrance, supplementing the already abundant stock with additional varieties of macarons that had not arrived along with the first shipment.
Adriano takes charge and preps the store for the inevitable onslaught of the salivating food obsessed, and I’m sure the occasional normal customer as well.
Soon afterwards the mob start to file in. The friendly and helpful staff inform us that not all the varieties are available at this stage. So decisions are pondered, compromises made, and seemingly a number of finger nail and possibly tips of fingers were gnawed clean off in the process.
There was much to ponder too, as illustrated by the small sample of photos below.
Each macaron was $2, with the black truffle macaron, containing actual pieces of black truffle within was the princely sum of $10 each (not pictured above). A one-of-everything box, which contained the full range was $110.
For a full list of macaron flavours available on the day, do what pretty much everyone else did and peruse the list on Grab Your Fork. For your convenience and with permission, I’ve supplied an alphabetised list below, with some slight modifications:
- Black truffle
- Blue cheese and pear
- Burnt butter
- Burnt toast and butter
- Caramello Koala
- Carrot cake
- Chocolate and mint
- Chocolate and passionfruit
- Chocolate and praline
- Chocolate and red wine
- Chocolate and salted caramel
- Chocolate citrus
- Chocolate foie gras
- Chupa chupa, on a stick
- Date and orange
- Fig and blackcurrant
- Finger bun
- French toast
- Goats cheese and blueberry
- Golden Gaytime
- Green tea
- Iced Vovo
- Lord Nelson beer
- Mango and tonka bean
- Maple syrup, bacon and pancake
- Mastic, yoghurt, cucumber and mint
- Mexican chocolate
- Olive oil and rosemary
- Pan d’epice
- Peanut butter
- Pink grapefruit
- Plantation chocolate
- Raspberry chocolate
- Rice pudding
- Strawberries and cream
- Strawberry bubblegum
- Tanzanian salted chocolate
- Toasted marshmallow
- Turkish delight
- Vegemite sourdough
This young gentleman was kind enough to model my first batch of macarons purchased.
Yep, that’s right. First batch.
You see, a lot of the flavours we were after weren’t available the first time around. However, just as we were leaving another batch of macarons arrived, and with it, additional flavours.
So back we joined the queue for another run. We’re not the only ones too, as we make pleasant small talk with another person who rejoined the queue.
Adriano seemingly has a moments peace. A rare luxury I would imagine for what must have been a hectic lead up to the culmination of this day.
Even with our second run through, still not all the flavours are available. So, this time we hang out inside the store along with Adriano, offering birthday wishes, making conversation about the macarons as well as his new collection of his soon-to-be-released cakes and posing for the occasional photo.
Some of the time is passed with a free sample or two. Suze poses with the delightful lollipop macaron, inspired by the chuppa chup. Chuppa chup flavoured with pop rocks, though I don’t think we ever found out which chupa chup flavour it was meant to be. Still, a nice macaron all the same.
The french toast macaron. One of the few macarons that weren’t on the original flavour list. We’d initially thought we were handed a different macaron as it tasted like rice pudding, and there was a rice pudding one on the list.
Eventually, all the flavours we were after had arrived, purchases finalised and boxes of macarons accompanied us as we head off to our respective workplaces, albeit an hour or two late.
Which macarons did I get? How did they taste? Unfortunately, this is material for another post.
Make sure to mark down the 6th November on next year’s calendar. Though this was the first Macaron Day, I hope it’s not the last. Happy Birthday Adriano :)
Adriano Zumbo Patisserie
296 Darling Street, Balmain NSW 2040
Ph: (02) 9810 7318
Monday to Saturday 8am – 6pm
Sunday 8am – 4pm