Food-spotting? We’ve all heard of trend-spotting – when you see every other person dressed in identical outfits. The same can be told about societal eating patterns. Don’t believe me? It does exist! In Paris, and other regions in France, I identified the next North American edible craze when I saw the very same “it” dessert being sold everywhere. From the Charles de Gaulle Airport to innumerable pastry shops, there were no coincidences in seeing flocks of people, lined-up in queue, patiently waiting to get their hands on bite-size discs – ‘le macaron.’
These meringue cookies carry a ‘je ne sais quoi’ factor, making them all-the-more appealing. Attractively displayed in topiaries and neatly packaged into tissue-lined boxes, just holding these chic treats makes you feel more cultured, and even – do I dare say – French. In fact, if Chanel were ever to release ‘haute biscuits,’ these macarons would live up to standard –grand in both quality and sophistication.
Ladurée, the leading producer of macarons, has been making these cookies for more than 150 years. Their boutiques offer clients these sweet, yet light, indulgences that vary in flavour profile and hue. Pale green macarons, for instance, are synonymous with pistachios; grouping colour and flavour is just one contributing factor that allures consumers into easily picking their desired macaron. Mix and match your macarons or stick to your favourite(s) – chocolate, lavender, vanilla, raspberry, and lemon among others. The possibilities are endless! With the exception of unique flavours and added food colouring, these crispy meringue cookies are practically stiffened egg whites, beaten with sugar and ground almonds.
Meringue recipes are not original, in concept, as they have been seen and done before –think pavlova. Still, popularity in favour of the marcaron continues to spread continentally. Pretty irresistible, these round temptations transcend from a level of ordinary to ‘extraordinaire.’ And it’s no wonder! The meringue itself has a chewy interior – good just as is – but, it gets better as two cookies are sandwiched between ganache, buttercream or fruit filling. Mess-free and jam-packed with flavour, literally, macarons are convenient to eat.
Ever indulged in these cookies? Guilty! I simply had to inquire what the fuss was all about, and content for having tasted this ‘trend.’ After all this sweet talk, you may decide to do the same. Steadfast to years of tradition and history, the simplest joy has come out of simple ingredients. As in the case of this French meringue, ‘le macaron’ is ‘très bon!’
Copyright © DISHFUL, 2013.