Mar 20, 2011

Happy Macaron Day

Cute-as-a-button cookies

One of the reasons I love France so much is for its unabashed passion for food.

All year long there are wine festivals, cheese fairs, and fruit fests. Shops close for a few hours at noon for lunch almost everywhere in France, and meals are to be savored, never to be eaten from a cardboard box or retrieved from a clown's mouth.  There are even dedicated days to certain palate pleasers–like Crepe Day (February 2). And if you’ve spent any time in Paris, you know the French are especially fou about macarons, so it comes as no surprise to me that a day would also be dedicated to these cute-as-a-button confections. Yep, you guessed it… Macaron Day!  March 20, all over France, is officially Le Jour du Macaron–and how sweet it is.

Don’t confuse the French macarons, two delicate dome-shaped meringue cookies with a flavor-infused cream or ganache in between, with the American macaroon (note the double-o), a dense glop of a cookie made with coconut or almond paste.

The window displays of Paris’ macaron masters (Pierre Hermé and Laudurée are among the best) reflect the cookie’s revered status as the queen of confections. The displays change with the season but you can always count on jewelry boxes filled with the sugary gems, or macarons stacked into pyramids and lined up like rows of obedient school children with their colorful uniforms on parade for all to admire. These displays give new meaning to the French expression lécher les vitrines, which means to window shop but literally translates ‘to lick the windows.’

Lucky for us we don’t have to jet off to Paris to find authentic French macarons (even though we want to). We can just head to Paulette Macarons in Hayes Valley where the former Parisian has brought the sweet taste of Paris to San Francisco.  Read more Click Here

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