Voulez-Vous a Macaron or a Macaroon?

29May08

A macaron is not a macaroon and a macaroon is not be confused with a macaron:  they are completely different species.  For some reason, however, there is quite a bit of confusion between the two wildly different yet equally delightful treats.  Even the Ladurée English website mistakenly refers to their world-famous macarons as macaroons.  Quelle horreur.    

A macaron is closer to a cake and a macaroon is a veritable cookie and a close cousin of the meringue.  Macarons are ever so slightly crunchy on the outside but filled with sweet and creamy ganache on the inside.  Macaroons, a Passover favorite, have a consistently thick texture through the entire bite and are most commonly coconut flavored and sometimes dipped in chocolate (yum). Macarons come in vibrant colors and corresponding flavors such as pistachio, rose, caramel, chocolate and coffee.  As an 18th century court favorite, macarons were appropriately and very heavily featured in Sofia Coppola’s 2006 film, Marie Antoinette.  

The best macarons are to be found at the aforementioned Ladurée, Pierre Hermé, Dalloyau, Joel Robochon, Bouchon Bakery, and chez Paul. Macaroons are much easier to perfect and hence easier to find at many local speciality bakeries such as Pete’s Sweets though the Manischewitz variety is surprisingly tasty.    


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12 Responses to “Voulez-Vous a Macaron or a Macaroon?”

  1. 1 neil clark warren

    We’re leaving for London and Paris this weekend, and we definitely plan to check out the differences about which you write. Doesn’t this remind you of the complexities of language — how such close “sounds” can involve such different “tastes?” Thanks for making this so clear in this instance — and for doing it in such a delightful way. Neil Clark Warren

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