What is it about these little beauties that makes them so popular around the world? I first tried them back in 2004 when I lived in France for about four months, and while I wasn’t particularly wowed by the taste initially, I was instantly attracted to the tiny little delicate morsels, just sitting in the bakery windows all perfectly lined up, flashing their pretty colors at people as they walked by, hoping to be scooped up in little cellophane bags or small gift boxes.
They never fail to catch my attention, even now when I see them in Italy, and I usually can’t help but snap a quick photo. Why? Because I just love their artistic aspect. They remind me of … a form of art.
Over the years they have come to grow on me, probably because I have discovered a few go-to flavors that are perfect for when I’m in the mood for a small, particularly sweet treat. (Those who know me know I have a much greater weakness for savory things than I do for sweets).
So what’s it made of? The famous French macaron (derived from the Italian word maccarone or maccherone, the Italian meringue) is made from five simple ingredients: egg whites, icing sugar, superfine white sugar, ground blanched almonds and food coloring, to create a meringue-based sweet.
Common flavors include: almond, blueberry, strawberry, chocolate, orange, lemon, pistachio, caramel, vanilla, raspberry, honey, coconut, orange, coffee, rose and lavender. My top three personal favorites are almond, coffee and raspberry.