I love to travel. All of my life I have wanted to visit Paris, and I finally got the chance to experience it in 2016. Man what a trip!
It’s hard to say what my favorite part of the trip was, but these macaroons are definitely on the top of the list!
A bit of history
The Macaron cookie was born in Italy, introduced by the chef of Catherine de Medicis in 1533 at the time of her marriage to the Duc d’Orleans who became king of France in 1547 as Henry II. The term “macaron” has the same origin as that the word “macaroni” — both mean “fine dough”.
The first Macarons were simple cookies, made of almond powder, sugar and egg whites. Many towns throughout France have their own prized tale surrounding this delicacy. In Nancy, the granddaughter of Catherine de Medici was supposedly saved from starvation by eating Macarons. In Saint-Jean-de-Luz, the macaron of Chef Adam regaled Louis XIV and Marie-Therese at their wedding celebration in 1660.
Only at the beginning of the 20th century did the Macaron become a “double-decker” affair. Pierre Desfontaines, the grandson of Louis Ernest Laduree (Laduree pastry and salon de the, rue Royale in Paris) had the idea to fill them with a “chocolate panache” and to stick them together. Since then, French Macaron cookies have been nationally acclaimed in France and remain the best-selling cookie in pastry retail stores.
Throughout the years, very little has changed in terms of the Macarons ingredients. They have always had a very classic flavor and their colors have always been very mellow, but recently, chefs have experimented by giving them countless colors and flavors beyond your wildest imagination.
Macarons have become the most coveted cookie in France, particularly in Paris. They are a bit of a trendy item for people to serve, the favorite sweet of children, the ideal breakfast treat, the beloved cookie of Parisian tea salons, the fashionable gift to give, and the ideal cookie for holidays such as Valentine’s Day and Mother’s Day.
Despite their popularity in Europe and France in particular, Macarons have not had much success yet in the United States. Although it is possible for you to find them here, more often than not it is at extremely expensive prices. Even when Macarons are sold at reasonable prices, they are often not as crunchy outside or as creamy inside as they should be, or perhaps they are too dry, or made with poor ingredients..