French Macaron: A Queen’s Crown

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This 100 calories per meringue is not only healthier than many of its sweet counterparts, it’s also the most photographed confection in the world due to its pretty shapes and vibrant colours.

Though called French macaron, it is actually created by an Italian chef in 1533 – a favorite of the French queen Catherine de Medici. True to its royal origin, its ruffled top is actually called a “crown.” It is often sandwiched between a soft filling, and comes in a variety of flavours as traditional as Vanilla, Pistachio, and as unusual as Foie Gras, Durian… (yes, a Vietnamese version!).

The earlier version of the macaron didn’t have filling and were introduced in Venetian monasteries in the 8th century. It gained fame after two nuns seeking asylum in the French Revolution baked and sold these cookies to pay for their housing. They became the “Macaron sisters.” Macarons eventually got served two-by-two with jams, liquors and spices, then formed its sandwiched shape as we know today.

Ladurée, Fauchon, Pierre Hermé… are among the best macaron creators in the world. So is Pierre Marcolini. This world famous chocolatier is a celebrity in the macaron world as Lady Gaga is to the music world. His creations have won numerous of awards and are as airy as a feather and as flavourful as the actual fruits or nuts.

What make a macaron unforgettable? Some say: chewy, soft, pretty, distinct…Other say: how it seems to butterfly-kiss your tongue and melts right into your heart, and it’s always selfie-proof.

Article & Photos by May Hoang