Macarons: From Medici to Mainstream

14th Aug 2017

French Macarons are sweet meringue based cookies made with egg-whites, sugar, almond flour, and are filled with buttercream icing, jam, or chocolate ganache. But they are so much more than that as one bites into the crumbly meringue and discovers the flavors and appealing textures within. Macarons are perfect for celebrations, holidays, and special occasions, but are also wonderful as an everyday dessert.

History

Macarons were born in Italy, purportedly by the chef of Catherine di Medici around the time of her marriage to King Henry II of France. Until the 18th century, macarons were kept within court, reserved for royalty and distinguished visitors. But two Benedictine nuns, who sought asylum during the French Revolution, supported themselves by selling cookies made from almond flour, egg whites, and sugar. In the 1900s in France, macarons began to show up as a sweet snack offered in addition to tea service. By the early 2000s, French McDonald’s began to serve an inexpensive version of the cookie. And now macaron shops are popping up throughout the US, Middle East, and Asia. They are available online, at many large chain supermarkets like Whole Foods and Trader Joe's, and in boutique shops.

Must-Have Flavors

The flexibility of almond flour and egg whites enables a lot creative variations. Conventional flavors like chocolate, hazelnut, coffee, and raspberry have now morphed into marvelous mash-ups like lavender lemon and honey rose. More than this, some chefs are pushing the edge further by creating savory amuse bouche macarons in foie gras or bacon flavor.

Storage and Shelf Life

Though some patisseries make macarons the day before selling them to let the flavors develop, others argue that macarons should be frosted and eaten as soon as the meringue cools. Outside of the refrigerator, macarons can stay fresh for up to 12 hours. In the refrigerator, macarons can last up to a week, but in a freezer macarons will stay fresh for about 5 months if they are not exposed to humidity. It’s important to note that macarons should be in an airtight containers during refrigeration, but let them warm up in open air to prevent sogginess.Choose from our variety of shock-safe packaging, ingredients, and baking tools to help with your macaron offerings.