Do you ever mix up macaroons with macarons? I know I do. But today’s National Macaroon Day so let’s get this sorted once and for all and talk about the macaron origin. As it turns out, you can consume a traditional macaroon in either cake or cookie form. They also have roots in the magical land of spaghetti and gelato – Italy. Later, these Italian monks travelled to France. Here they brought with them a version of the recipe we’re all grateful for today.
Today almost every country has its own variation of macaroons. They’re most commonly created with ground almonds, coconut, and other nuts. You can then dip them in your favourite type of chocolate. We can even enjoy them during Passover as the sweet treats include no flour or leavening agents. The cutest reference to them comes from Puerto Rico. Here they call them besitos de coco – to clarify for any non-Spanish speakers, this means little coconut kisses!
Now, a macaron is something completely different. It’s here that folks get confused. A macaron is a meringue-based cookie sandwich with some sort of buttercream, and sometimes jam, squished inside to hold it all together. These macarons with one ‘o’ in the spelling often have food colouring added, which gives them ample esthetic appeal! We can call these French macaroons. See, suddenly there is an extra ‘o’ but a French macaroon is still a regular macaron!
Just as the colour options are endless for macarons/French macaroons, so too are the flavour options. While the French would be horrified, US choices can include mint chocolate chip, peanut butter and jelly, Snickers, peach champagne, strawberry cheesecake, candy corn, salted pretzel, chocolate peanut butter, oatmeal raisin, candy cane, cinnamon, maple bacon, pumpkin, and even salted caramel popcorn.
It stands to reason that as today is National Macaroon Day, and there are two different types of desserts that fit into this category, an innocent person could justify the consumption of both coconut macaroons and colourful French macaroons today… What a glorious day.
Hope you enjoyed the macaron origin. Enjoy your little coconut kisses, everyone!