Pastel Bliss: The French Macaron

The French macaron. Pure Pastel Bliss.
Uniquely flavored butter creams in beautiful pastel colors cushioned between two soft, cake-like cookies. A bit of heaven to simply look at, let alone eat! These colorful confectionary wonders are a ‘pop’ of sheer delight and a pastry wonder. It is certainly worth knowing how these delightful morsels came to being…

The history of the macaron cookie is a love affair of its own. According the Larousse Gastronomique, the word macarons was derived from the italian “Maccherone”, which means fine dough. The Venetian word “Macerone” and the English term “Macaroon” comes from the French Macaron. There are many stories of this petite, almond meringue cookie’s origin. Surprisingly, it is touted that its humble beginning was in Venice during the Renaissance. Some historians claim that they can be traced back to an Italian monastery. According to historians, the macaroon made its way to France in 1533 by the pastry chefs of Catherine de Medici at the time of her wedding to the Duc d’Orleans who became Henry II, king of France in 1547. As the story continues, it is said that while the Royalty were indulging in these sweet pleasures, two Benedictine nuns, seeking asylum in the French town of Nancy During the French Revolution, used these marvelous cookies for their housing payment. Baking and selling these little wonders, they became known as the “Macaroon Sisters”. So famous were these heavenly treats, that the street was later named after them! The current French Macaroon, which is indeed the true captivating Parisian-style version of the macaron is said to be created by the talents of the legendary Pierre Desfontaines Laduree and Pierre Herme, The King of French Pastry. The concept of joining two macarons and filling them with ganache has evolved today to include not only gancache but buttercreams and jams, and a limitless array of colors and flavors. Bliss, indeed. The mesmerizing love affair with these confectionary morsels brought enduring fame upon themselves- the “Almond and Macaroon Museum” in Montmorillon, France.

These beautiful petite wonders are the most coveted cookie in France, particularly in Paris. Not only have these become trendy little indulgences to serve, but they have become the fashionable gift to give. How perfect to splurge on this confectionary treat for Valentines Day!
A sweet and elegant token of admiration, indeed!

Kristin

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