Arts & Culture

Le Macaron vs. The Macaroon

All those who have been to, lived in or simply had a layover in Paris have experienced the glory of the french macaron. Crispy, airy cookie on the top and bottom, gooey chewy center, there is really nothing bad to … Read More

By / April 8, 2010

All those who have been to, lived in or simply had a layover in Paris have experienced the glory of the french macaron. Crispy, airy cookie on the top and bottom, gooey chewy center, there is really nothing bad to be said when such confections come in flavors as exotic as violet cassis and chocolate passionfruit. The stereotypically pseudo-intellectual French, probably as bored with pastries as they become with any and every trend, turn to macaron connoisseurs, Ladurée and Pierre Hermés, for innovative french takes on the classic treat. 

For those of you who have yet to experience the glory, let me put it in terms you’ll understand – our frozen yogurt is their macaroon. It now seems that the world beyond Paris is experiencing Macaron Mania, especially in the fashion industry, as shoes turn into macarons  and macarons take on the classic colors of Louboutin shoes. (Nike recently came out with their pastel Air Royalty Macaroon Sneakers and Laduree recently released their black on top red on the bottom red-soled macarons in honor of designer Christian Louboutin’s trademark red sole). It’s safe to say that despite the supposed lack of eating that goes on in the fashion industry, stylistas across the globe are going gaga for the pretty pastries.

Here at the Jewcy HQ, this puzzles us. A French macaron? delicious? not a single coconut flavored one in sight? What is this?! To us, Macaroons are one of two things – the mushy, slimy, sort of delicious things that come in a can and can be found in our Bubby’s Passover pantry or a kids band consisting of animated animals playing instruments called The Macaroons who regale us with tales of Matzo Balls and tell nice Jewish kids what exactly is in a mezuzah. The thought that a macaroon could ever be a pastry eaten by Parisian elite during their afternoon chic-as-ever tea time is baffling. So we did some research, and by research we mean taste-testing.

First, we reached into our Pesach leftovers, to sample the probably stale by now Passover macaroon – texture? questionable. Taste? coconut-y. Would we eat this year round? probably not.

Next, our mouths traveled to Paris as we sampled le french macaron. Texture? crispy than chewy. Taste? Pistachio…then raspberry, followed by one dusted with silver eatable glitter and infused with violet. Would we eat this one year round? We’d eat it daily – we say, when in New York, do as the Parisians do!

While the kids band, The Macaroons, is surely a family friendly treat we’d indulge in year round, we are more than willing to trade our Pesach-dic treats for one (or more) of these divine desserts. That being said, don’t let our verdict in le macaron vs. the macaroon sway you in the slightest – try them yourself at local spots like Almondine in Dumbo, La Maison du Chocolat on the Upper East Side or at Macaron Cafe in the Garment District (we assume they built this french hub in the midst of a Jewish one to initiate this very taste comparison) and let us know what you think!