If you have a sweet tooth, no doubt that you’ll love Macarons. Macaron is a meringue-based sweet, made with egg white, sugar, almond flour, and food coloring, filled with ganache filling.
Not only easy on the eyes, but Macarons will definitely satisfy your cravings for sweets.
But did you know, there is so much more of Macarons than what we see and taste? Well, in this article, we will dig a little deeper about Macarons. Check it out!
The History Behind Macarons
Most people might know Macarons as a dessert that came from France. But actually, Macarons did not originate in France. There is a long history behind how Macarons made their way to France.
In the 600-700s century, the Arab empire expanded up through Northern Africa which now we know as Sicily.
The Arabs brought different kinds of food with them and one of the foods that they brought to Sicily was a sweet cookie made of honey and grounded nut flour. The Sicilians called this cookie Maccheroni.
Maccheroni is actually the way they refer to any food that is made of something grounded.
Maccheroni then evolved over time, and it started to incorporate egg whites and used the bitter almond flour that was known well throughout the Italian peninsula.
The Italians call this cookie Amaretti and it is made from ground almonds, sweetened with sugar, and leavened with egg whites. Amaretti is still known today as the Italian version of Macarons.
Then how Macarons made their way all the way to France? Unexpectedly, it all started with a marriage. There was an Italian noblewoman called Catherine de Medici. In the 1500s, she married Henry II of France and moved to France.
When she moved to France, she brought her pastry chefs with her and introduced the Maccheroni to the French. The cookie was then adapted into French cuisine and translated into French as Macarons. However, at the time, Macarons were produced as a single cookie.
After that, in the early 1900s, Pierre Desfontaines, the grandson of Laduree who owned a famous bakery with his name developed the Macarons into the Macarons that we know today.
He sandwiched two Macarons around a chocolate ganache filling. He then introduced this cookie sandwich to people through his grandfather’s bakery and it got so famous across France.
Celebrations For Macarons
Macarons are not only popular in France, but widely known across the world. French Macaron bakeries became trendy in North America in the 2010s. And because of that, Macarons has become quite well known in the US.
In New York City, people celebrate Macaron Day on March 20 annually. Local shops usually celebrate this day by handing out free Macarons on that day.
But apart from that day, Macaron Day is also celebrated nationally on May 31 every year.
Methods Of Making Macarons
There are two main methods for making a macaron. The “French” method and the “Italian” method. Each method has its own uniqueness that separates it from the other.
In the French method, egg whites are whisked until stiff-peaked meringue forms. Then, sifted ground almonds and powdered sugar are folded in slowly until the desired consistency is reached.
The process of knocking out air and folding is called macaronage.
Different from the French method, in the Italian method, egg whites are whisked together with a hot sugar syrup to form a meringue. Sifted almonds and icing sugar are also mixed with egg whites to form a paste.
The meringue and almond paste are then mixed again to form the macaron mixture. This method requires a candy thermometer for the sugar syrup and results in a sweeter Macaron.
Another Fun Facts About Macaron
Now that we already know the history, celebrations, and different methods of making Macarons, let’s find out some other fun facts about Macarons!
- Macarons are the most widely sold sweet treat in France. Laduree has four shops in Paris and the shops collectively sell about 12,000 Macarons per day. They also frequently collaborate with high-end fashion designers such as Christian Louboutin and Emilio Pucci to design their boxes.
- Macarons are quite high in calories. The average macaron has between 70 to 100 calories for every piece.
- The word “Macaron” stems from the same origin as the word “Macaroni” which means “fine dough”.
- The most popular macaron flavors are pistachio, green tea, vanilla, caramel, chocolate, espresso, and raspberry. Meanwhile, there are some strange macaron flavors such as foie gras, Cheetos, wasabi, vegemite, and lavender.
- In 1792, two Carmelite nuns, seeking asylum in Nancy during the French Revolution, baked and sold the macaron cookies to pay for their housing. These nuns became known as the “Macaron Sisters”.