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Macaroon Or Macaron. Do You Know The Difference?

Each year on May 31st, is National Macaroon Day the small coconut cookie that’s full of flavor and variety, too. Don’t mistake these for the delicate sandwich cookies called macarons. No, these small, but substantial cookies hold their own despite the sometimes mistaken identity. For coconut lovers, this day is a little bit of bliss.

  • The Italians receive credit for creating these sweet morsels sometime around the 8th or 9th century. The recipes later traveled to France. However, in other parts of the world, the once flourless cookie served its purpose during religious observances.
  • Coconut is one of those love-hate ingredients.
  • In North America, the coconut macaroon is the best-known variety.
  • In 2013, macarons made it to the Guinness Book of World Records when the world’s tallest pyramid made of macarons was erected. The pyramid was made of 8,540 macarons that local entrepreneurs provided in Shibuya, Japan.
  • Macaroons did not become a double-decker affair until the 20th century. It was originally served as a single cookie. However, with creams and rich flavors growing in popularity, the double-decked design quickly became a winner. Nevertheless, there are still a lot of towns in France that sell single-layer macaroons.
  • The name macaroon comes from the Italian name of Maccarone, which means a doughy, soft texture.
  • While origins are uncertain, some culinary historians claim that macaroons can be traced to an Italian monastery. The monks came to France in 1533, joined by the pastry chefs of Catherine de Medici, wife of King Henri II. Later, two Benedictine nuns, Sister Marguerite and Sister Marie-Elisabeth, came to Nancy, France, seeking asylum during the French Revolution. The two women paid for their housing by baking and selling macaroon cookies, and thus became known as the “Macaroon Sisters.”
  • The original macaroon was a small sweet cake consisting largely of ground almonds similar to Italian amaretti.
  • The first recorded use of macaroon was in 1605–15, and it originated from the Middle French word macaron via the dialectal Italian maccarone (“cake or biscuit made of ground almonds”). So the macaroon comes from the French version of a cookie that originated from an Italian treat.
  • The Scottish macaroon is a sweet confection with a thick velvety center covered in chocolate and topped with roasted coconut.
  • Macarons and macaroons both start out with the same base of sugar and egg whites. But, to make French macarons, you also fold in finely ground almonds and other ingredients before baking them into a smooth-topped cookie. The French macaron also contains a filling.
  • The American macaroon, on the other hand, contains shredded coconut and has a crisp outside and a soft, chewy inside.
  • Macaroons became popular and favored by Jews due to the snack’s unleavened nature, meaning it can be enjoyed throughout the Passover period.
  • The most popular macaron flavors are pistachiogreen teavanillacaramelchocolateespresso and raspberry.
  • Some strange macaron flavors are foie gras, Cheetos, wasabi, vegemite and lavender.
  • French macaron bakeries became trendy in North America in the 2010s.
  • Ladurée Paris sells over 4,000,000 macarons per year.  As per an estimate, the four Laudrée shops in Paris collectively sell 12,000 macarons per day — approximately 4.3 million per year.
  • The ingredients used in a traditional macaron cookie are naturally gluten-free: almond flour, powdered sugar, egg whites, and granulated sugar.
  • One of the oldest macaron bakeries, Maison Rannou-Métivier, is located in Montmorillon, France. It has a museum dedicated to macarons.
  • During the wedding celebration of Louis XIV and Marie-Therese in Saint-Jean-de-Luz in 1660, Chef Adam served fresh macarons to the wedding guests and that was the only food the guests desired for the event. This made the cookies the highly sought-after sweet within the circle of the affluent.
  • Macaroon definition: A macaroon is a noun that means “a drop cookie made of egg whites, sugar, usually almond paste or coconut, and sometimes a little flour.” Most common macaroon recipes also add sweetened condensed milk.
  • Macaron definition: Traditional French macarons and is defined as a “round, colored cookie consisting of a ganache or buttercream filling between two halves made from beaten egg whites mixed with sugar and ground almonds.” Each half of the cookie is similar to a meringue in that it’s light, airy, and fragile. They’re joined with a center layer of indulgent filling, creating a swoon-worthy, meringue-like sandwich.
  • We have Mrs. Esther Levy to thank for popularizing the great macaroon. In 1871 Mrs. Levy published the “First Jewish American Cookbook.”


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