Lovingly being teased by my husband on my nasal pronunciation of Macaron, I adjudged it wise to educate myself on Macarons/Macaroons. Without a doubt proper research must be conducted; therefore, I’ve spent the last couple of weeks consuming mounds of Macarons from 12 establishments throughout Seattle metropolitan.
Highlighted in the gallery below, are my final selections of cookies and their creators based upon genuine personalization of customer service, cookie size comparison, finesse in flavor and aesthetics, and overall value.
For many years I fantasized about sitting at a little cafe in France indulging in the cuisine and still today I do the same as I visit the French restaurants and bakeries here in Seattle. I may not have traveled the world but here in Seattle I am discovering the world is around me and it is delicious.
Fantasizing about French cuisine began when a French exchange student spoke of the foods she grew up on and again, when I took French as an elective in Junior High. I do not remember the first time I had a Macaron but my most profound memory was at Loulay Kitchen & Bar when my husband desired chocolate, alas the menu did not have what he was craving. As we prepared to depart, our server brought him a platter with two perfect and decadent chocolate Macarons. To see my highly critical husband genuinely impressed with not only the top notch attention and service but with the surprise of Macarons, I was simply touched and impressed.
What is the proper way to say Macaron and what is the difference between Macaron and Macaroon?
From my research, this is what I gather:
Macarone, maccarone or maccherone are the Italian nomenclature source from which is the macaron as the meringue; however, the translation meaning is paste . Highly regarded as French, the Macaron’s history dates farther back to Italy as a singular meringue cookie. It is in France by way of an Italian pastry chef the cookie was introduced and notoriety of the cookie grew when two nuns baked and sold the Italian Macaron (meringue) and Macaroon (almond/coconut). In the 1830’s the Macaron doubled with special fillings and was originally known as the Gerbet or the Paris Macaron.
For most baking communities in English, the written spellings of Macaron refers to the meringue based cookie and Macaroon refers to the almond and/or coconut based cookie. In French, Macaron and Macaroone are essentially synonyms but it is the written English conversion of the two words that distinguish the two types of cookies. Multiple pronunciations technically are correct and it basically comes down to a personal preference.
Finding French Macarons is not a difficult search; however, finding an Italian Macaron is proving to be quite difficult and not to be confused with the Italian similar Macaroon the Amaretto or the Italian Baci di Dama “Ladies Kisses”, an almond cookie similar in appearances of a French Macaron, the Italian Macaron is simply a singular meringue cookie. If ever I come across an Italian Macaron, I will definitely share!
(click on each image to take a closer look)
Le Panier French Bakery Macarons $2.00 each
The Yellow Leaf Cupcake Co. Macarons $2.50 each
Crumble & Flake Patisserie $2.50 each
Amandine Bakeshop Macarons $3.00 each
Gelataio Macaroons & Baci di Dama $2.00 each
Loulay Kitchen & Bar $unknown (mine were free)