You may have been posting a letter (how quaint) at the Hutt Street Post Office or you were wandering aimlessly, overcome by the elegance of dwellers of the Parisian South East corner of Adelaide.
The Force tells you: “Look up, Luke.” You see a sign: The Mac Factory.
Up the stairs you go. “Mac?” you ponder. No, it isn’t the global HQ of a company selling fodder to the masses, nor is it a core of a computer styling company. A cross between Andy Warhol’s Factory and Willy Wonka’s Chocolate Factory is close. A manifesto is framed and hung.
You are in the heart of the macaroon trade. Boxes of macaroons. Towers of macaroons.
For weddings, doe shows, birthdays, for no reason at all. Prices range from $2.50 each to $30 for 57. Or a multi-coloured feast with a well made coffee at The Mac Factory. Minus the jumping up and down about the genius of the barista who meditates for an hour before fingering a single bean.
I am a professionally trained barista. Did you know that? No one drops to their knees when they see my exceedingly important barista-self shimmering into view. Not a bad idea, though. Prostrate yourself and give my feet a wash when you see me coming. Got it?
Head to The Mac Factory on the weekend if you want a new, unique breakfast experience. The pick is the bruschetta with ricotta, fresh figs and balsamic vinegar which is beyond compare. Wash it down with a créme brulee milkshake.
The superior Mac macaroons are made with real fruit squashed in season with the supernatural food colouring that gives the modern macaroon its de rigueur virulent colour.
It is actually spelt and pronounced macaron says Silvana Agostino, the muse and head macaroner behind The Mac Factory. Of course, Silvana is right. Everyone else is wrong.
There are many stories about the history of macarons. Cathy de Medici brought them with her when she married a French Henry? (the 3rd?) A tribe of nuns made them famous in the late 18th century? Pardon the hesitance. I am moving house and my reference books are in boxes. On cue, the internet has gone bung.
I thought the macaron virus would only last a season in the fickle Australian market. History suggests not.
There is another surprise at the top of the stairs. Silvana has a bookshop specialising in books about food.
I stuck my head in the door and peeked in. Too dangerous. Too tempting. I have to go cold turkey on food books for a bit.
It is extraordinary that a place with such a narrow focus has thrived. It’s good, that’s why.
THE MAC FACTORY
190b Hutt Street
Hours: Wednesday – Sunday: 10am – 5:30pm
Breakfast: Saturday and Sunday