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The Fashion of Macarons

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According to historians, macaron cookies probably existed during the Middle- Ages and were introduced in France, at the time of the Renaissance by Queen Catherine de Medicis.

The basic recipe gathering almond meal, egg whites and sugar inspired regional specialties. But the “Parisian macaron” was popularized by pastry chef Ladurée, still one of the most famous brands in macaron-making.

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Declined in endless colors and flavors, macarons have become the must-eat indulgence of recent years. This round little French pastry has conquered the world.

What is a macaron?

The first step is to make a sweet meringue-based confection with egg whites, confectioner sugar or granulated sugar, almond meal or ground almond, and food coloring, and to bake it in small perfectly round-shaped disks.

The second step is to create a filling with ganache, buttercream, or jam and to spread an even layer between two of the almond meringue discs created in step one.

The result is a lovely and delicious round mini sandwich that both crunches and melts in the mouth!

Although you can find many “easy recipes of macarons” on the web or in cooking books, the confection of macarons is far from easy and requires real know-how and patience.

Nowadays, many pastry shops offer “macaron- style” pastries, but when visitors come back from France, most of them bring back home a box of the famous Ladurée macarons, as a tasty souvenir of their French trip!

The phenomenal success of macarons is so huge that French pastry chef Pierre Hermé, called the “Picasso of pastry” by Vogue, designated each March 20th as official “Macaron Day”!

Sometimes I wonder, why are macarons still so successful? Probably because of their sophisticated and delicate taste, but also because of their tiny dessert shape and their seductive colors!

In addition to being sold as pastries, macaron designs have become very trendy in France. The colorful little cookies are now reproduced on many non-edible products, from soaps to fashion apparel, candles, home décor and fabrics.

For example, Art de Lys, a French tapestry company, created joyful pillow covers and pouches featuring various macaron patterns.

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Ladurée capitalized on the fame of their cookie and launched a full collection of macarons-inspired products, including notebooks, adorable key chains with Eiffel tower charms and a trio of mini macarons named after the pastry flavors: Licorice, Mint, Pistachio, Berries, Currant, etc.

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They look so real that some of my customers wanted to taste them as if they were pastries!

The fashion of macarons is definitely here to stay.

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