Last Sunday while in NYC, I spent a little time at the Bastille Day Street Festival on 60th.
The event was quite lively with musical performances, face painting, clowns & of course French foods. Of all the culinary delights available, the pastries, crepes & macarons (not to be confused with macaroons) seemed to be the hottest items.
As I strolled down 60th, I noticed one food tent that had people about to raid it. The crowd was so thick that I didn’t see what the big fuss was over. Being the nosey person that I am, I waited until I had my chance to get to merchandise at this tent.
Minutes later, once I was at the vendor’s table & saw that the fuss was over these little cookies, macarons. Brightly colored little macarons that were $2.75 each.
I was like these things can’t be that good, especially for $2.75 each but I decided to see for myself. I ordered two, one for me & one for Suite Suzy. I had the cassis (black currant) & Suite Suzy had the coconut flavor.
The bottom line after our 1st bite was that these macarons were worth $2.75. They were AWESOME! The cassis flavor was out of this earth! The cookie was slightly crisp & chewy, unlike anything that I’ve tried in the past.
I decided to go back to the tent to find out how I could get more to take home. Luckily, the vendor had a café nearby, the MacarOn Café
I’m not even gonna lie to you, that night I had a dream about stuffing my mouth with many cassis macarons. Yes, they were that damn good!
Monday morning, before we hit the road home, I made a quick trip to MacarOn Café to get my goods. Unfortunately, they were already out of the cassis flavor. Oh my! With so many other flavors to choose from, I got over it.
I picked up a lavender honey, espresso, rose, pistachio, double chocolate, passion fruit, coconut & a few others.
Over the past few days, I’ve been sampling & loving them all. And yes, they are all that as well.
On the drive home Monday, I did some quick Googling & discovered that there are only 2 local options to get these French treats from & both have very limited flavors. So you know that this means that I will be learning how to make these at the crib very soon!
French Macaron History:
The Macaron cookie was born in Italy, introduced by the chef of Catherine de Medicis in 1533 at the time of her marriage to the Duc d’Orleans who became king of France in 1547 as Henry II. The term “macaron” has the same origin as that the word “macaroni” — both mean “fine dough”.
The first Macarons were simple cookies, made of almond powder, sugar and egg whites. Many towns throughout France have their own prized tale surrounding this delicacy. In Nancy, the granddaughter of Catherine de Medici was supposedly saved from starvation by eating Macarons. In Saint-Jean-de-Luz, the macaron of Chef Adam regaled Louis XIV and Marie-Therese at their wedding celebration in 1660.
Only at the beginning of the 20th century did the Macaron become a “double-decker” affair. Pierre Desfontaines, the grandson of Louis Ernest Laduree (Laduree pastry and salon de the, rue Royale in Paris) had the idea to fill them with a “chocolate panache” and to stick them together. (Source | MadMac)
Detroit/Ann Arbor French Macaron Options:
Pinwheel Bakery (Ferndale) – They have about 5 flavors & they are $1.25 each.
Cecilia’s Pastries (Ann Arbor) – Sold on Wednesdays at the Ann Arbor Farmers Market. Cecelia has 9 flavors & they are $1.50 each. Lastly, if you’re feeling adventurous, Cecelia also teaches a macaron class. You can get more information here.