What is a macaroon?
A macaroon is sweet, coconut-based, small cake normally baked on an edible rice-paper base. Other ingredients include ground almonds, sugar and egg white, with some recipes using honey, jam or cherries. They are quite soft, chewy and moist and may even have a chocolate coating.
How Do You Say Macaroons?
Macaroon is pronounced ‘mack-a-rOOn’ and shouldn’t be confused with macaron (pronounced ‘mah-ka-ROHN’)
What’s the Difference Between a Macaroon and a Macaron?
A lot of people get these two things mixed up, which has led to a lot of confectionery-related confusion - but they really are different! A macaron is a French meringue biscuit that forms a sandwich with a ganache, jam or buttercream filling. It’s made with egg white, sugar and ground almonds and is coloured with food colouring - giving them a distinctive look.
Macarons are currently very popular, but difficult to make. Macaroons are much less in vogue and are simple to make.
Where Do Macaroons Come From?
Macaroons were originally made in Italy, with historians pointing to a 9th-century monastery as the birthplace of the macaroon. They started to appear in recipe books during the 18th-century by which time they were popular and well established in France. The word ‘macaroon’ is derived from the Italian ‘maccherone’ - which means ""paste"".
What About Macarons?
Macarons, coincidently, also came from Italy and can be traced back to 8th-century Venice. They reached France during the Renaissance, courtesy of Catherine de' Medici and by the 1830’s French confectioners started to sandwich them together using ganache and other fillings.
Why Do People Get Them Mixed Up?
The main reason for this culinary confusion is that some brands incorrectly labelled ‘macarons’ as ‘macaroons’. Add to that, the fact that when you google “macaroon” images of macarons can be seen, it’s no wonder the whole thing has become so confusing.
So glad we’ve cleared this up.