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Macaron Day 2010

Adriano Zumbo – a name that carries with it a degree of gravitas. Revered by foodies, respected by his peers, and perhaps even a little reviled by reality cooking show contestants required to reproduce his recipes.

So when Macaron Day comes along, a day to celebrate Adriano Zumbo’s birthday (an event now in its second year), you can imagine how much anticipation and buzz such a day generates.

Especially when there are more than 66 flavours of macarons available to choose from, ranging from the wonderful to the downright weird.

Arriving during the late morning, at least several hours after trading had begun, there was still a substantial queue that stretched several stores down the street.

A lady walking by, bemused by the amount of people lined up in the queue, exclaimed quite loudly “It’s just cakes”!

Oh, how little did she know…

The staff worked at a frenetic pace to keep the orders flowing.

A newly introduced pamphlet with the complete flavour checklist kept the queuing customers occupied with flavour selection. It also sped up service considerably, making life as hassle-free as possible for customers and staff alike.

Even then, I found that half of the total one hour turnaround time was spent waiting for the order to be filled and queuing for payment.

Hopefully next year they’ll accept online orders prepaid by credit card, so all you need to do is turn up to pick up your pre-packaged order.

It may mean lower incidences of bumping into other food bloggers while you wait, but still.

There were macaron flavours to suit every taste, all of which were valued at $2 each.

There was plenty of what you might call “normal” flavours, for lack of a better term, such as the Pistachio ones above.

Then there were the unique, boundary pushing flavours of last year making a reappearance, such as Vegemite Sourdough, Rice Pudding, Buttered Popcorn and Burnt Toast.

However, these flavours, including Fairy Bread which debuted this year & was not on the official list, seem conventional by comparison to some of the other flavours on offer.

The greatest stand out this year of the creative/unique/weird flavours in my mind is a deep fried & battered creation known as the Fish and Chip macaron.

It’s the first one of its kind that I’m aware of, at least by Google search accounts. If there have been others before, I sincerely doubt that they were available in that flavour.

Other unique standouts are the Tobaccoron, flavoured with tobacco; Hamburger, which is a variant on last year’s Cheeseburger flavour; Redskin which emulates not only the flavour of the candy of the same name but also the tooth-clinging chewy texture; and the Choc Zumbo, which is a mystery to me, even after having tried it.

For the full list of the other weird and wacky flavours of Macaron Day 2010, such as Black Garlic and Blood and Chocolate, check out this previous post.

If the 66+ flavours of macarons weren’t enough for you, there was also a selection of three jumbo sized macarons – Lime, Basil Creme & Strawberry, Rose with Raspberries & Passionfruit with Raspberries ($9 each).

Twenty-one macarons to go.

A couple were thoughtfully packaged separately so that they wouldn’t ruin the integrity/taste of the other macarons with transferred oil/juices.

My sister partook with the taste testing along with me.

Of all the macarons, she’d dislike almost all of them and outright hated a few. There were only 2 or 3 that she liked out of the lot.

To be fair, most of the flavours selected were the unconventional, unique and weird flavours.

As much as she felt Adriano Zumbo was over rated and said she much preferred the ones from T2, she’d finished off the remaining macaron segments the next day. Go figure.

For me, there were a number of stand out flavours.

The Hamburger riffs off last year’s Cheeseburger flavour. Though structurally more sound, it still had issue of excessive moisture ruining the texture. The flavour combo was good, with the inclusion of cheese & a small disc of beetroot, but not quite as impressive as its predecessor.

The Tobaccoron tasted more like chocolate with a hint of tobacco flavour but I found it rather interesting. I wonder if you’d get a nicotine buzz if you had enough of these…

The Fish & Chip macaron was by far and away my favourite of the lot. Not just because it was good but the sheer genius required to pull off such a flavour in macaron form.

From the crisp batter shell, that remained that way a fair while after it would have been fried, the hint of fish flavour/aroma from the frying oil, to the fish cake centre. My only criticism was that I didn’t pick up on any of the chip flavour/texture.

Other honorable mentions were the Redskin (the flavour and tooth-sticking texture was spot on), Toothpaste (tasted more like spearmint cream that toothpaste) & ALL the ones that contained salt.

Macaron Day 2010 had some seriously unusual and wonderful flavours. Cannot wait to see the new, boundary-pushing flavours that will be available for next year’s Macaron day! :)

Adriano Zumbo Patisserie
296 Darling Street, Balmain
(02) 9810 7318

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{ 40 comments… add one }
  • Laura (Starloz) November 8, 2010, 10:31 am

    that’s pretty incredible. i cant believe the flavours!

    • Simon November 8, 2010, 9:09 pm

      Yeah, certainly pushed the boundaries flavourwise. Kinda wonder how he’s going to top it next year…

  • OohLookBel November 8, 2010, 10:44 am

    Excellent roundup, Simon! I didn’t get there till Sunday, so missed out on the fish and chip and tobaccy macs (sad!). But the redskin was as you said, very sticky and sweet, just like the lolly. And the counter staff could do with some customer service training, they’re quite slow and uninformed which makes getting your cakes really frustrating [sorry for the whinge].

    • Simon November 8, 2010, 9:11 pm

      Oh, no tobaccy maccies. Thought they’d be at least a few of those around on Sunday. Good that you were still able to pick up some good ones.

      Sorry to hear that your staff experience wasn’t so crash hot.

  • Helen (grabyourfork) November 8, 2010, 11:45 am

    Deep-fried mac? All that’s missing is a swooping seagull!

    • Simon November 8, 2010, 9:14 pm

      LOL! Don’t give the man ideas! I’ll know who to blame if there is a seagull or seagull-inspired macaron on the list next year… :P

  • Jacq November 8, 2010, 12:06 pm

    It was great bumping into you! I wish I got that fish and chip macaron now, it sounds awesome! But I think I had more than enough sugar for that day anyway hehe

    • Simon November 8, 2010, 9:15 pm

      If the revival of some of last years wacky favourite in this year’s list is anything to go by, maybe you’ll see it again next year. Perhaps with the addition of a deep fried mars bar macaron perhaps?

  • missklicious November 8, 2010, 6:38 pm

    Some of the flavours sound a bit crazy – but I do like the look of the larger macarons! And the fairy bread & redskin ones sound yum too.

    • Simon November 8, 2010, 9:16 pm

      Didn’t get the try the fairy bread one. Wonder if the filling was mashed up white bread and butter…?

  • Corinne @ Gourmantic November 8, 2010, 8:45 pm

    Good to see you tried the Tobaccoron! I was tempted to get it but where do you draw the line :) I thought the Choc Zumbo tasted like it had pop corn on the outside!

    • Simon November 8, 2010, 9:23 pm

      How could I not!

      Good question about where to draw the line though. For me, it’s a question of where he draws the line.

      Though if there’s some really strange ideas, even for him, such as balut or uranium-232, I might give it a second thought. Though a macaron that can power a small digital clock like a lemon or potato would be cool though.

  • Obesebaby November 8, 2010, 9:12 pm

    wow thats a nice post and alot of nice pic! I regret I didn’t go but felt good after reading your post. espcially love the fish and chips!

    • Simon November 8, 2010, 9:24 pm

      I especially loved the fish and chip ones too. Wish I’d gotten more! :)

  • FFichiban November 8, 2010, 10:15 pm

    Le sighhh missed out on so much ‘ron action :(

    • Simon December 13, 2010, 11:23 pm

      Next year dude, next year :)

  • Tina@foodboozeshoes November 8, 2010, 10:18 pm

    Fish cake centre…? *shudder*

    • Simon December 13, 2010, 11:23 pm

      Better than what you’d think.

  • yewenyi November 9, 2010, 11:47 am

    I like the sound of the hamburger ones. Were they special flavours only for that day?

    • Simon December 13, 2010, 11:25 pm

      Most of them are one-offs. Some of the more popular ones make the roster for the regular sale roster from what I’ve seen.

  • Ellie (Almost Bourdain) November 9, 2010, 12:50 pm

    Madness! I always love to read zumbo macarons day post there are so many craziy idea and funky flavours to explore and be inspired. Thanks for a great post.

    • Simon December 13, 2010, 11:26 pm

      You know what they say about genius and insanity… :)

  • Rhonda ( The Dainty Baker) November 9, 2010, 12:58 pm

    That fish and chip macaroon looks very yummy!! hes such a genius.. like really, what a legend!

    • Simon December 13, 2010, 11:27 pm

      It was very yummy. Not everything works for me but the stuff that does… zomg!

  • Alessandra November 10, 2010, 11:39 am

    Is not just cakes… is creativity.

    But I always stick with the ‘sweet and safe’ for me… I love pistachio, gianduia… I don’t think I could go for Fish and chips (and also I am a vegetarian :-)

    great post and photos, thank you for sharing.


    • Simon December 13, 2010, 11:30 pm

      I love how she said it almost as if she expected someone in the line to realise “oh crap, you’re right”, regain their senses and leave :P

      Each to their own. Thankfully the more traditional flavours are awesome too!

  • mademoiselle délicieuse November 10, 2010, 2:03 pm

    Could you please suggest that as a possible future flavour?!

    • Simon December 13, 2010, 11:35 pm

      The deep fried mars bar or the seagull macaron? :)

  • Tori (@ Eat-Tori) November 11, 2010, 8:48 pm

    Stuck in London, so thank you for the vicarious visit! The fairy bread ones look divine. And I would have been all over the redskin- so impressed he managed to get the tooth-sticking texture!

    • Simon December 13, 2010, 11:36 pm

      Surprised myself. Would be curious to find out whether he replicated the flavour or just rendered down actual Red Skins!

  • Emma @CakeMistress November 14, 2010, 3:18 pm

    Wow, thanks for talking us through what looks like a totally amazing Macaron Day. Such crazy flavours! Thanks for the photos. Must make a trip to Sydney next year to participate :)

  • Forager @ The Gourmet Forager November 18, 2010, 10:34 pm

    What an exhaustive prelude and round up! Loved the reviews of the flavours – some are so bizarre. Fish and chips sounds and looks so crazy!

    • Simon December 13, 2010, 11:40 pm

      I was so not expecting the fish and chip one to work but it did!

  • Susan: My Food Obsession November 18, 2010, 11:01 pm

    WOW, they look glorious! I would love to try one of the raspberry ones.

    • Simon December 13, 2010, 11:41 pm

      Same here! Don’t know if I could do one in a single sitting. It’s quite big!

  • Kimberley December 12, 2010, 9:56 pm

    oh the giant macarons look amazing, I missed them! There’s always next year, I guess.

    • Simon December 14, 2010, 12:01 am

      I think those giant macs are around as a regular item, though maybe not those specific flavours.

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