The French have done a lot right in my book. They invented champagne, they gave birth to some of fashion's best brands (CHANEL, Lanvin, Hermès, Balmain ... shall I go on?) and they sure know how to make a damn good sweet treat.
You could spend a whole year with your nose in a French dictionary discerning the varieties of baked goods this culture has to offer or you could spend a few moments here and realize that there's really only one Parisian pastry to focus on: the macaron.
A macaron is a meringue-based confection made with egg white, plenty of sugar, almond powder and enough food coloring to make the delicacy as bright as it is scrumptious.
In Portland, you don't have to venture far to find some "mmm"-worthy macarons. Nuvrei, a pâtisserie in the Pearl District, has become such a popular destination for the cookies that they opened a "Mac Bar" below their café. Nuvrei's Mac Bar offers up to 22 different flavors of these meringue-based masterpieces, from Salted Caramel to Chamomile Honey.
I asked for a rainbow assortment of flavors: White Chocolate, Jasmine Green, Raspberry, Orange Blossom, Rose and Violet. I love that this bakery creates unique floral flavors.
A treat that originates from a country as romantic as France deserves to be shared. I suggest bringing a bottle of Chardonnay (Château Ste. Michelle will do just fine) and an 8-pack of macarons to a dinner party. Another alternative is bringing a 6-pack (only $18) and a copy of VOGUE Hommes International to a park for a fashionable picnic date. Bon appétit!