Cafes and bakery shops all across France always have macarons on the menu, and now these tiny sandwich cookies are gaining popularity in other parts of the world too. These tasty snacks are liked for their light and sweet top and bottom shell, along with a filling of buttercream, jam, or ganache. The best part about macarons is that they are just bite-sized and melt in your mouth. They are also considered to be affordable take-home gifts for the family.
In this post, we’ll look at the history and humble beginning of these tiny sandwich cookies.
History of macarons
Today’s macarons are the result of a long evolution of the macarons of the past. According to popular beliefs, macarons are considered to be of Italian origin, dating back to the 8th Century. According to legends, the delicacy was introduced to France in 1533 when Queen Catherine de’ Medici of Italy married King Henry II of France, and her pastry chefs brought the macaron recipe with them. Back then, these cookies were made from almonds, egg white, and sugar, and called “priest’s bellybuttons.”
It is believed that macarons were served in 1581 during the marriage of the Duke of Joyeuse in Ardeche.
In 1682, when King Louis XIV decided to stay at Versailles in 1682, macarons were served to the guests as a welcome gesture. Until then, macarons were considered an exclusive item for the royals. The tradition kept going until the empire fell in 1789.
Macarons for everyone
During the French revolution, the two sisters, Marguerite and Marie-Elisabeth sought asylum in the city of Nancy in eastern France. The macarons gained fame in 1792 when these sisters began selling macarons to commoners. The sisters were experts in making a variety of pastries, so to earn some money, they started baking these “priest’s bellybuttons.” Quickly the duo became famous, and people began referring to them as “Macarons de Nancy.”
In the 1830s, macarons were assembled as two biscuits and filled with jellies, spices, or liqueurs. The credit of modern macarons goes to Ladurée of Paris, the famed Parisian tea salon, in the early 20th century. At present, this famous luxury pastry shop sells macarons in varieties such as macha tea, salted caramel, chocolate, pistachio, salted caramel, orange blossom, and raspberry. The recipe has not changed since.
Macaron crosses the ocean
These delectable sweets are fast replacing the cupcakes in the United States. Their popularity could be attributed to the fact that they are indulgent, come in different colors and flavors, and have a low-calorie count. Over the years, bakeries specializing in making macarons have mushroomed in New York, Seattle, and San Francisco. The macarons are now showing up at retailers like Whole Foods, Trader Joe's, and Starbucks.
National Macaron Day
The Macaron Day tradition started in 2005 in Paris as a partnership among local bakeries to celebrate French macarons and support local charities. The day gives a chance to the macaron lovers to taste these cookies from various bakeries. In 2010, French macaron shops in NYC celebrated the event with participation from over 15 local pastry shops. During this day, one need to mention Macaron Day at a participating bakery to get a free complimentary macaron with every purchase. The annual Macaron Day is celebrated across the world, including cities like Budapest, Toronto, Portland, and Perth.
About Macaron Queen
We make dozens of delectable macaron flavors, including red velvet, key lime, champagne, and french raspberry buttercream macaron. Our macarons are often said to taste better than the originals from France. What started as a personal passion for making delectable, edible treasures for close friends and family quickly became a fast-growing business. We now make these treats for private parties, celebrities, fashion spreads, music videos, and movie sets.You can reach out to us at (908) 867-8336. You can also fill our online contact form here.