Last night I visited the Pierre Hermé store in Covent Garden for a sneak preview of their new Fetish Infiniment Vanille collection. A select group of food bloggers huddled around the counter, peering in at the immaculate rainbow coloured macarons. But though the rose, pistachio and passionfruit all looked very appealing we were here for the showcase of one particular flavour, vanilla.
Vanilla is a Special. A spice of multiple aromas depending on where it has been grown: overtones of chocolate, butter, fruit, wood, liquorice… A gem Pierre Hermé adores. An insatiable gourmand, Pierre Hermé couldn’t use just one variety of vanilla. And so Pierre Hermé composed his interpretation of the ideal vanilla flavour. A recipe combining different varieties from Mexico, Tahiti, and Madagascar that has become the signature “house” fragrance.
After a glass of pink fizz we tasted a selection of treats from the vanilla collection. The super soft macarons sandwiched together with a creamy buttery filling. Then came shots of the warm, comforting vanilla infused green tea and a slice the white chocolate vanilla coated cake. Finally we tried vanilla scented rich dark chocolates and mouthfuls of Sablés diamant (a shortbread like vanilla biscuit). It was all delicious, and Pierre’s delicate treatment of vanilla brings out a unique warmth from this familiar flavour.
We stepped out of the sweet Parisian emporium with a new knowledge of vanilla and delightful goody bag to continue enjoying on the bus home. If this evening was proof of anything, it is that Pierre Hermé is so much more than just a master of macarons.