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Subject: List of French desserts, List of pastries, Le Macaron, Petit four, List of French dishes
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Macarons from Ladurée, Paris, France.
Type Confectionery
Place of origin France
Main ingredients Biscuit: Egg whites, icing sugar, granulated sugar, almond powder or ground almond, food coloring
Filling: buttercream, ganache, or jam

A macaron ( ;[1] French pronunciation: ​[2]) is a French sweet meringue-based confection made with egg white, icing sugar, granulated sugar, almond powder or ground almond, and food colouring. The macaron is commonly filled with ganache, buttercream or jam filling sandwiched between two biscuits (cookies). The name is derived from the Italian word macarone, maccarone or maccherone, the Italian meringue.

The confection is characterised by smooth, squared top, ruffled circumference (referred to as the "foot" or "pied"), and a flat base. It is mildly moist and easily melts in the mouth.[3] Macarons can be found in a wide variety of flavors that range from the traditional (raspberry, chocolate) to the new (foie gras, matcha).[4]

The macaroon is often mistaken as the macaron; many have adopted the French spelling of macaron to distinguish the two items in the English language. However, this has caused confusion over the correct spelling. Some recipes exclude the use of macaroon to refer to this French confection while others think that they are synonymous.[5] In reality, the word macaroon is simply the English translation of the French word macaron, so both pronunciations are technically correct depending on personal preference and context.[5][6] In a Slate article on the topic, Stanford Professor of Food Cultures Dan Jurafsky indicates that 'macaron' (also, "macaron parisien", or "le macaron Gerbet") is the correct spelling for the confection.[7]


Picture from Dictionnaire encyclopédique de l'épicerie et des industries annexes, by Albert Seigneurie, edited by L'Épicier in 1904, page 431.

Although the macaron is predominantly a French confection, there has been much debate about its origins. Larousse Gastronomique cites the macaron as being created in 791 in a convent near Cormery. Some have traced its French debut back to the arrival of Catherine de' Medici's Italian pastry chefs whom she brought with her in 1533 upon marrying Henry II of France.[8] In 1792, macarons began to gain fame when two Carmelite nuns, seeking asylum in Nancy during the French Revolution, baked and sold the macaron cookies in order to pay for their housing. These nuns became known as the "Macaron Sisters". In these early stages, macarons were served without special flavors or fillings.[9]

It was not until the 1830s that macarons began to be served two-by-two with the addition of jams, liqueurs, and spices. The macaron as it is known today, composed of two almond meringue discs filled with a layer of buttercream, jam, or ganache filling, was originally called the "Gerbet" or the "Paris macaron." Pierre Desfontaines of the French pâtisserie Ladurée has sometimes been credited with its creation in the early part of the 20th century, but another baker, Claude Gerbet, also claims to have invented it.[10][11][12]

Common flavors


Macarons in a variety of colours.
Macarons in Paris (foremost plate)
Macarons from La Grande Épicerie, the deli department of Le Bon Marché, Paris
Macaron cookie base

French regional variations

Several French cities and regions claim long histories and variations, notably Lorraine (Nancy and Boulay), Basque Country (Saint-Jean-de-Luz), Saint-Emilion, Amiens, Montmorillon, Le Dorat, Sault, Chartres, Cormery Joyeuse and Sainte-Croix in Burgundy.

Macarons d'Amiens, made in Amiens, are small, round-shaped biscuit-type macarons made from almond paste, fruit and honey, which were first recorded in 1855.[14]

The city of Montmorillon is well known for its macarons and has a museum dedicated to it. The Maison Rannou-Métivier is the oldest macaron bakery in Montmorillon, dating back to 1920. The traditional recipe for Montmorillon macarons remains unchanged for over 150 years.[15]

The town of Nancy in the Lorraine region has a storied history with the macaron. It is said that the abbess of Remiremont founded an order of nuns called the "Dames du Saint-Sacrement" with strict dietary rules prohibiting the consumption of meat. Two nuns, Sisters Marguerite and Marie-Elisabeth are credited with creating the Nancy macaron to fit their dietary requirements. They became known as the 'Macaron Sisters' (Les Soeurs Macarons). In 1952, the city of Nancy honored them by giving their name to the Rue de la Hache, where the macaron was invented.[16]


In Switzerland the Luxemburgerli (also Luxembourger) is a brand name of confectionery made by the Confiserie Sprüngli in Zürich, Switzerland. A Luxemburgerli is a macaron[17][18][19] comprising two disks of almond meringue[20] with a buttercream filling.[21][22] Luxemburgerli are smaller and lighter than macarons from many other vendors. It is said to be lighter and more airy in consistency.[23] Flavors include: vanilla, chocolate, stracciatella (chocolate chip), caramel, hazelnut, champagne, amaretto, chestnut, mocha, cinnamon, lemon, mandarin, and raspberry. Many flavors are seasonal. The shelf life is three to five days, refrigerated.

Zurich, Switzerland, Sprüngli confectionery shop display with Luxemburgerli.

Luxemburgerli were invented by the confectioner Camille Studer who brought the recipe to Zürich after creating them in a Luxembourg confectionery shop (Confiserie Namur) in 1957. There, the recipe was refined for a confectionery contest. The name Luxemburgerli is derived from the nickname which a colleague bestowed on Studer, whose family originated in Luxembourg. The original name, Baiser de Mousse (foam kiss in French), perceived as appropriate for the new creation, was changed to Gebäck des Luxemburgers ("Luxemburger's confection") which became, in Swiss German, Luxemburgerli ("little Luxembourger").


Macarons are popular in South Korea,[24] pronounced as "ma-ka-rong" in Korean. Green tea powder or leaves can be used to make green tea macarons.[25][26]


Macarons in Japan are a popular confection known as "makaron".[27] There is also a version of the same name which substitutes peanut flour for almond and is flavored in wagashi style, widely available in Japan.


In Paris, the Ladurée chain of pastry shops has been known for its macarons for about 150 years.[28][29] In France, McDonald's sells macarons in their McCafés (sometimes using advertising that likens the shape of a macaron to that of a hamburger).[28] McCafé macarons are produced by Château Blanc, which, like Ladurée, is a subsidiary of Groupe Holder, though they do not use the same macaron recipe.[28]

Outside of Europe, the French-style macaron can be found in Canada[30] and the United States.[31][32][33][34]

In Australia, Adriano Zumbo along with the TV series MasterChef have seen the macaron become a popular sweet treat, and it is now sold by McDonald's in its McCafe outlets.[35]

On an global level, March 20 celebrates "Macaron Day". Created in 2005 in Paris by la Maison Pierre Hermé, it is a tradition that spread across the world. On this day, participating bakeries and macaron shops around the world offer customers one free sample macaron. A percentage of all additional macaron sales is donated to a local charity.[36]

See also


  • Meyers, Cindy: The Macaron and Madame Blanchez. In: Gastronomica. The Journal of Food and Culture, Vol. 9, No. 2 (Spring 2009), pp. 14–18, University of California Press, online.
  • Jurafsky, Dan: Macarons, Macaroons, Macaroni. The curious history. In: Slate, November 16, 2011, online. (About the history of the macaron.)


  1. ^ Sciolino, Elaine (22 July 2013). "Fads Aside, the Perfect Macaron Is Timeless".  
  2. ^ Henry, Liz (2 May 2010). "Eats: Food quest — Paradise found: The search for the elusive macaron pays off.". Sun Journal. Retrieved 10 May 2012. 
  3. ^ Comparison of good and bad recipes on making macarons,
  4. ^ "Macaron". Dessert Eater. 
  5. ^ a b "Macaron vs Macaroon". 26 February 2010. Retrieved 8 July 2012. 
  6. ^ "French Macaron or Macaroon?". 2013. Retrieved 4 April 2014. 
  7. ^ "Macarons, Macaroons, Macaroni. The curious history". Slate Magazine. 
  8. ^ History of Macarons,
  9. ^ Introduction to French Macarons
  10. ^ The story of the Macaron,
  11. ^ Macarons, the Daddy Mac of Cookies, Fox News
  12. ^ Jurafsky, Dan. "Macarons, Macaroons, Macaroni: the curious history.". Retrieved 9 March 2013. 
  13. ^ Naherny, Michelle. "Photos courtesy of". Honey B's Macarons. Retrieved 8 July 2014. 
  14. ^ Nick Rider (1 May 2005). Short Breaks Northern France. New Holland Publishers. p. 135.  
  15. ^ Press book, Musée de l'Amande et du Macaron, see article La Maison Rannou-Métiviere, July/August 2003.
  16. ^ Notre Histoire Maison des soeurs,
  17. ^ Hubbeling, Christina. "Wer macht die besten Macarons? (Who makes the best macarons?)". Neue Zürcher Zeitung. Neue Zürcher Zeitung AG. Retrieved 3 March 2014. 
  18. ^ "Luxemburgerli". Confiserie Sprüngli. Confiserie Sprüngli AG. Retrieved 3 March 2014. 
  19. ^ Böhler, Guido. "Macarons: wer macht die besten und schönsten? (Macarons: who makes the best and most attractive ones?)". Retrieved 3 March 2014. 
  20. ^ Malgieri, Nick. "Baking : How to Make a Macaroon". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved 3 March 2014. 
  21. ^ Gasser, Benno. "Auf der Suche nach dem besten Zürcher Macaron (The search for the best Zurich macaron)". Tages-Anzeiger. Tamedia AG. Retrieved 3 March 2014. 
  22. ^ Kummer, Corby. "Smackaroon! The Switzerland vs. France Cookie Smackdown". The Atlantic. The Atlantic Monthly Group. Retrieved 3 March 2014. 
  23. ^ Luxemburgerli – die luftig leichte Versuchung,
  24. ^ Cha, Daniella: "Macarons: The New Trend for Desserts." Phoenix Plume. The official newspaper for Korea International School, 27 April 2011. Retrieved 8 December 2012.
  25. ^ 마카롱,마카롱만드는법 (in Korean). Naver. 7 August 2011. Retrieved 8 May 2012. 
  26. ^ "Green tea French macaron recipe". Graceful Cuisine. 17 March 2012. Retrieved 8 May 2012. 
  27. ^ ジャン=フィリップ・ダルシー「夏の新作マカロン」 (in Japanese). Fukui News. 9 July 2010. Retrieved 8 May 2012. 
  28. ^ a b c Jargon, Julie (March 2, 2010). "Mon Dieu! Will Newfound Popularity Spoil the Dainty Macaron?". The Wall Street Journal. Retrieved December 29, 2010. 
  29. ^ Reed, M. H. (January 29, 2009). "Macaroon Delight". The New York Times. Retrieved December 29, 2010. 
  30. ^ Chesterman, Lesley (October 11, 2008). "Macaron mania hits Montreal - finally!". The Gazette (Montreal). Retrieved December 29, 2010. 
  31. ^ Denn, Rebekah (October 25, 2009). "French macarons are sweet, light and luscious". The Seattle Times. 
  32. ^ Greenspan, Dorie (April 1, 2010). "Macarons: New to The Easter Parade This Year". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved December 29, 2010. 
  33. ^ "Move Over, Cupcake: Make Way For The Macaroon". NPR. February 12, 2010. Retrieved December 29, 2010. 
  34. ^ "eggzmacaron". Il est difficile de résister à atteindre pour un autre!. 
  35. ^ Chavassieu, Olivia. "Heaven on Earth". Sydney Morning Herald. Retrieved 7 March 2012. 
  36. ^ Macaron Day 2013

Further reading

External links

  • How To Make French Makaron
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