Let me tell you a bit about myself. My name is “Macaron” or “Gerber,” but between the two of us, I prefer to be called “Macaron.” I am round and tempting to the eye. I am made primarily of almond flour, sugar, and egg whites. Throughout the years, very little has changed in terms of my components. I have always had a very classic flavor and my colors have always been very mellow, but recently, two renowned chefs have experimented with me by giving me countless colors and flavors beyond your wildest imagination. Over the years many have experimented with my shape, but whenever possible, I prefer my classic round form.
I have become the most coveted cookie in France, particularly in Paris. I am 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, and finally, without sounding pretentious, I am a bit of a Star.
Despite my popularity in Europe and France in particular, I have not had much success yet in the United States. Although it is possible for you to find me here, more often than not it is at extremely expensive prices. Even when I am sold at reasonable prices, perhaps I am not as crunchy outside or as creamy inside as I should be, or perhaps I am too dry, or made with poor ingredients.
Presently, two distinguished pastry chefs are planning to make me a Star in New York and the United States. These chefs are Florien Bellanger and Ludovic Augendre, they understand me and love me, and you will too.
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.