Oh, what delight we find when biting into macarons!
It’s instant love! The macaron’s origin isn’t clear, but it may have been brought to France from Italy as early as 1533 by Catherine de Medici and her pastry chefs.
Macarons gained fame in 1792 when two Carmelite nuns seeking asylum in Nancy, France during the French Revolution baked and sold macarons in order to support themselves.
They made simple macarons from a combination of ground almonds, egg whites, and sugar. No special flavors and no filling. It wasn’t until the 1900’s that Pierre Desfontaines of the Parisian pastry shop and café Ladurée decided to take two cookies and fill them with ganache.
Today, the macaron is a delicious treat of thin, light crust, followed by a layer of moist almond meringue, with a center of silky-smooth filling. Lucky for me and lucky for you, these little love cushions are now available here in the states. Nothing tops off a French meal like a little morceau (morsel) of a macaron.
On Valentine’s Day 2011, I was in a French class and one of my classmates brought in boxes of French macarons to share. They came from Paulette Macaron in Beverly Hills, California. You can order them online at paulettemacaron.com. These delicious little morsels mixed well with our conversational French as we licked our fingers and continued to pass the cookies around the room. The chocolate ones were divine! I think I’m in love.
Macarons are made from egg whites, sugar and almond flour.
Among their many health benefits, almonds are a good source of mono-saturated fat, protein, potassium and a good source of Vitamin E. This antioxidant reduces the risk of heart diseases. The presence of magnesium in almonds helps to prevent heart attacks. Almonds help reduce C-reactive protein which causes artery-damaging inflammation. They are also a source of folic acid and therefore help reduce the level of homocysteine which causes fatty plaque build-up in arteries. What’s good for the heart must be good for love.
I recently read that macarons are the new dessert du jour.
Cupcakes are passé. So, I bought a box of macarons and served them as a dessert along with a little fruit sorbet. Light and fluffy these little treats are called pets in the Loire region of France (meaning either little farts or little meringues because of their light and fluffy texture) brought joie de vivre to the night. Whether a pet or a meringue, these almond delights are heavenly. Almonds have been a part of many cultures and have made their way into many dishes.
The almond is a symbol of faithfulness, making macarons the crème de la crème of love.
In Greek mythology, a princess, beautiful and faithful to her prince and lover Theseus, went down to the sea each day, hoping to see her lover’s ship returning from the Trojan War. When it does not look like the fleet will ever return, she dies of grief and is changed into an almond tree to commemorate her faithfulness.
Now that’s love.
– Doctor Lynn