Let Them Eat MacaronsExtras — By Mary on March 29, 2012 at 11:23 am
The Parisian macaron is a snobby-but-scrumptious little treat that has lately become a vogue frontrunner in the ongoing dessert popularity contest. It’s practically a requisite to snack on them while in Paris.
First things first: it’s only spelled with one “o,” as opposed to the chewy, coconut-y macaroon, and it’s pronounced “macaRHONE,” not “macaROON,” like the aforementioned cookie. (Bonus points if you can do that dry heave/rolling “r” thing on the last syllable.)
The macaron initially took culinary cues from the Italians who are credited with creating theairy and slightly crispy meringue-like cookies from almonds, sugar, egg whites, and the magic touch.
Yet, the French piped in with the pièce de résistance, and sandwiched ganache between the otherwise-uneventful confections, thereby elevating it to become the grand macaron that we know and love today. Et voilà!
The Parisian pâtisserie, Ladurée called dibs on taking the credit for the delectable dessert, and with each new season comes a new flavor of macaron.
Traditional macron flavors were limited to vanilla, chocolate, coffee, and almond. Nowadays the macaron craze prompts more Frankenstein combos like olive oil with mandarin orange, candied bacon with maple cream cheese, and tequila-buttercream.
Contending with Ladurée is the esteemed macaron wiz, Pierre Hermé (christened “The Picasso of Pastry” by French Vogue). According to foodies, these two pâtisseries are the first and last word on the petit dessert, but no one shop is the obvious best. Your best option is to visit both while in Paris, and let your taste buds battle it out.
Unfortunately both establishments boast long lines, and a strict no-photography rule. C’est la vie!
Nicole Trilivas is a travel writer and the author of the novel Pretty Girls Make Graves.