Macaron 101 : What is a Macaron

Macarons are a chic new dessert recently arrived from France to our Calgary markets. They look great, taste even better, and are gluten free. As for any new arrivals to Calgary, a proper introduction is needed.

So, what is a Macaron anyway?  This dessert is the perfect union of two delicious almond meringue shells and a smooth filling; usually a ganache, buttercream, curd, or even cheese.  A single bite of these tiny treats will wake your taste buds faster than you can say ‘oooh la la’.

A perfect macaron should taste great but also have the right texture. As a macaron expert you have to know the 3 rules of a perfect macaron:

  1. The exterior should be crunchy with an eggshell-like crust
  2. The ideal macaron should be round with ruffled interior edges "the feet" 
  3. The interior is soft, moist and sometimes a little chewy

A little history:

Fascinating and elegant, the macaron is a fusion of both fashion and food.  However macarons were not always the macarons we know today.

It all started in the 1500’s in Italy. The word itself, deriving from the Italian word “macaroni”, was used for both egg-based pasta and almond cookies. The original macarons resembled more a marzipan rather than a cookie and was used more as a food product than a dessert.  

It wasn’t only until the 1830’s that the single almond cookie turned into the double macaron that we know today. They were combined two by two and topped with jam or spices.

Finally only in the 1890’s, Pierre Desfontaines, second cousin to Louis Ernest Laduree, introduced the colored macarons. He had the idea to stack them up as a sandwich and add fillings with butter crème, jam, compote or ganache.

Today there are thousands of macaron bakeries worldwide and hundreds of flavours. At Ollia Macarons and Tea we have over 25 delicious flavors, both sweet and savory, and planning to have even more.  With all of these flavors to try, just sit back, relax and macaron!

Merci et à bientôt!