Wednesday, March 24, 2010

the nomadic oven

At the farmers market this weekend my stepmom stopped by a table of beautiful baked goods and got into a conversation with the baker about macarons—chewy versus soft, a certain bakery in Paris, blah blah blah...I spaced them out, contemplating the pile of whoopie pies. Not because I don't like macarons; I do. But I've eaten plenty and they've all been basically the same, variations on this theme: A pair of soft-yet-slightly-chewy, almost-meringue-like, pastel-colored cookies sandwiching a thin layer of filling.

After confirming that the macarons at the farmers market were the special Parisian kind, my stepmother bought one, pronounced it the best macaron she'd ever tried, and gave me a bite. Bitches, these are not your run-of-the-mill macarons. They literally melt in your mouth.

These were prettier when I first bought them; this photo was taken after they'd spent a couple hours in my purse.

They were so good, in fact, I assumed the whoopie pies I'd been contemplating must be bad. As I've noted here before, whoopie pies should not be fancy, and the macarons were very fancy. So I purchased three magical macarons and one whoopie pie, which I didn't try until I got home, at which point I RUED the moment I'd decided to buy only one. That whoopie pie was not too fancy at all. In fact, it had all the best aspects of both the high- and low-brow versions. The chocolate-cake portion was moist, unlike most fancy whoopie pies, and the chocolate was dark and rich. The filling tasted like a classy version of Fluff—marshmallowy, with crystalline sugary bits—but without the waxy taste of shortening most low-end whoopie pies have. I approve.

So I have a new favorite, worth-seeking-out local baker in addition to beloved My Little Cupcake. I know the Nomadic Oven will be at the one remaining Burlington winter farmers market, and her website says she does the summer Old and New North End markets. Let the stalking begin.


  1. oh, i so wish i would have stopped by the farmers' market this weekend! i've only had the macarons at mirabelle's, so i would have loved to sample someone else's. did she have lots of different flavors? the whoppie pie looks perfect! i just pre-ordered a whoopie pie-only recipe book from amazon the other day, and i can't wait till it comes out!

  2. Kate, I think you need to see this and this: &

    Let's settle once and for all that these little cookies are pronounced macarOns (like macaroni) and not macaroon like the coconut ones.

  3. S, it's settled. And those bakerella macarOns are beauties, but I bet they don't melt in your mouth (I think the melt-in-the-mouth quality would prevent them from adhering to a lollipop stick).

    MLC, she just had the one kind, and I thought they were better than the ones at Mirabelle's. I hope I get a chance to try an MLC whoopie pie one day!

  4. Leave it to you to find the best macaroons in Burlington! I can’t wait for the next (and last) indoor Farmer’s Market. Only in Burlington would a winter farmer’s market have great macaroons. Now, let’s see, the whoopee pies. Hmmm, think I’ll pass. Dad