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Frozen macarons vs Fresh macarons
If you're a reader of Pastreez blog, you might know that there is a big difference between frozen macarons and fresh macarons.
Can you freeze macarons? I wrote an entire blog post about it, but the short answer is yes.
The problem is the taste experience. There is a big difference. A frozen macaron, will lose its "crunch" on the outside.
That is easy to explain: The thawing process will release water and "wet" the outer shell of your macaron.
And because of what macarons taste like, that is an issue. It's supposed to be crunchy outside, and soft inside. That perfect balance is the signature taste of an authentic French macaron.
That said, I understand that frozen macarons are less expensive than fresh ones. It's because they can mass produce it in factories, freeze and store them for months, before selling it to you.
But if you want the real macarons experience, you should always buy fresh!
Walmart macarons review
At first, I didn't know Walmart macarons were a thing. But yes, Walmart do sell these!
It's actually in the frozen section. They are priced $6.24 for a dozen.
Frozen macarons have a big advantage: They are cheap. $6.24 for a dozen macarons means it is only $0.52 per macaron.
But as everything, cheaper almost always means less quality. Let's have a look here.
The box is pretty simple and correctly packaged. When you sell volumes in Walmart throughout the nation, you know your stuff on packaging.
Nothing fancy though: These Walmart macarons are not suited to gift macarons.
Anyways, I don't think they're meant to be gifted. Let's see what's inside!
Colors are decent, and they selected pretty common macaron flavors: Chocolate, lemon, strawberry, coffee, pistachio and vanilla.
Authentic French macarons are about 1.7 inches diameter, and 1 inch thick.
Here, macarons from Walmart are smaller. In fact, they are really tiny. I could almost consider it to be "mini" macarons.
These are .75 inch thick, and 1.4 inch in diameter.
Let's now see if they look like authentic macarons.
Quality & taste
They look "ok". Some are slightly burnt, like the pistachio macaron, but rest is a good looking enough, considering the price you pay for it.
I feel like they are light on filling though. Even if these are smaller than real macarons, they could have added more filling between the two shells.
Now the big test, is the taste. I usually cut the macarons in half so you can get a good view of what's inside, the texture, etc.
No surprise: The texture is off.
The top and bottom don't really stay together as it should. This is due to the thawing process.
Since they were frozen for months, when they thaw the shells "crumble" a bit.
Now about the filling. Remember my post about macaron calories, there are two types of fillings for macarons: Buttercream and ganache.
A buttercream is mainly made with butter, and is more fat and less flavorful.
A ganache is a higher quality filling. It is made with white chocolate, less fat, and flavorful. That is what we do at Pastreez.
Buttercream is cheaper to make, because butter is more affordable. It is also easier to use the exact same buttercream for most macaron filling. They just add a pinch of "flavor" in powder to change the taste.
Here, they kind of taste all the same.. Pistachio is like vanilla. It's because they use the same buttercream.
For the fruity ones, Walmart macarons are made with jam. Not buttercream or ganache. It's really not as "creamy" as it should be, and the taste feels industrial.
Do you know what macarons taste like?
A macaron should be crunchy outside, and chewy inside.
These macarons from Walmart are too soft. This is because it the water released from thawing "wet" the shells.
There is sadly nothing to do about it: Frozen macarons will always lose its crunch because of this.
As for general taste, do you know that feeling when you eat thawed product? This odd taste that comes right after you swallow. There you go!
Yes, these Walmart macarons have that thaw aftertaste.
I personally did not like the macaron, but if I had to give it a rating, it would 4/10.
Price is really cheap, so that is a great point. Also, I also feel like they look "decent". But that's it. The taste is definitely nothing compared to French macarons.
Have you read my study of the best macarons? I personally ordered from the most popular online macaron stores in the US, and I detailed my thoughts. It's worth the read!
Target macarons review
I also ordered frozen macarons from Target. Let's see how they compare with Walmart macarons.
Price is similar compared to Walmart. It is $6.99 for a dozen, compared to $6.24 for Walmart.
So the cost per macaron is $0.58, which is very affordable. Frozen macarons are for sure way less expensive than fresh macarons, which is average $2 per macaron. Let's see if it's worth it.
The outside box looks better designed that Walmart. Target also made sure the macarons were air sealed inside, which is a good point, considering they stay months frozen.
Don't think to gift these as well. They are not meant to be gifted as it does not have any gift note, and packaging is not suited for that purpose.
Let's take a closer look at these Target macarons.
As you can see, colors are ok. The macaron flavors are: Vanilla, chocolate, pistachio, salted caramel, raspberry and lemon.
These are the same flavors than Walmart, except the coffee replaced here by salted caramel.
I can't blame them, these are part of our best sellers at Pastreez, even though we have more elaborate flavors and colors like lavender crème brûlée, cheesecake galaxy macarons, and more.
Target macarons are 1 inch thick, and 1.4 inches diameter.
It's the same exact same size as the Walmart macarons. I'm starting to think, perhaps, it's the same factory that sell these under two different brands.
This macaron size is definitely not the authentic macarons size (1.7in). These might be considered "mini" macarons.
Quality and taste
You know the drill, it's time to cut these in half to see what's inside.
The texture is closer to a cake than an actual macarons. It's always the same issue: The fact they were frozen ruin the experience.
Because the water released when thawed will wet the shells, you will lose the crunchy outside, which is one of the signature taste of a real macaron.
The texture is too chewy. As for taste, it's decent but again closer to a cookie or mini cake.
I can also feel this characteristic taste of a thawed product. I had the aftertaste of "old tap water" when trying the Target macarons.
Finally, I notitced that the shells were hollowed. A hollow macaron is when you can see these "bubbles" or empty spaces within the shells.
This is due to a lack of quality from the chef that baked the shells. You can remove these bubbles, when you tap your pan sheets on the table for a few times (check our full French macaron recipe for tips).
To sum up, I wouldn't advise to buy these. Yes they are affordable, but it will alter your experience with macarons.
You would not believe how many customers at Pastreez say they thought they did not like macarons, before to try ours.
Frozen macarons are definitely less expensive, but you don't get the real macaron taste experience.