Macarons and macaroons are DIFFERENT

I am sick and tired of reading posts about macarons where the authors of the post mistakenly write "macaroons" to refer to the French confection 'macaron'. Even the people who write on Tastespotting sometimes confuse the two, and these people are, more often than not, supposed to be foodies. The two are DIFFERENT ENTITIES. Now I understand that they have the same root, but macarons are NOT macaroons. Case in point:

1. Macaroon (via georgie_grd through Wikipedia)

Above: the common American macaroon. Made of egg whites, sugar, and shredded coconut. Often dipped in chocolate. NOT referred to in France as a "macaron", but rather as a "congolais". Delicious and soft (I'm partial to coconut), but nothing special. VERY easy to make (I swear, all you do is beat up some egg whites with sugar and dump some coconut in). Flavor profile: coconut. Obviously.

2. Macaron (via roboppy through Wikipedia)

The French macaron. Made of almond flour, egg whites, sugar, and any creamy filling you can possibly imagine. Notoriously difficult to make; you have to make sure the cookies rise and become airy and chewy, that your macaron have 'feet' (those little ruffled things around each cookie), that your cookies are flat, that their delicate tops don't crack during baking, that they don't burn (the horror). All this has resulted in numerous and varied accounts online on how to ensure the creation of a successful macaron. People go to great lengths to make a good macaron (sometimes aging their egg whites for up to a week, unrefrigerated!) Flavor profile: anything you can think of (above, as you can see, are fig-hibiscus macarons). REALLY expensive, but SO DELICIOUS. I must go to France, just for the authentic version of these. These and croissants.

Here's a link to arguably the most hyped confectionary selling macarons in business today, Pierre Hermé. Too bad his stores aren't open in the US; I would totally go EVERY DAY. Ladurée is also pretty well known (and their macarons are HUGE), but most people seem to prefer Pierre's. Now I know that Ladurée's English version website refers to macarons as "macaroons", but I forgive them because they are French and "macaroon" is the English equivalent word translation for "macaron", even though it doesn't refer to the same food.

If that isn't enough to get you to Paris, March 20th is France's NATIONAL MACARON DAY, meaning that patisseries in France give out free macarons (or deeply discounted macarons). Someone come to Paris with me PLEASE.


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