French macarons are undeniably one of the most beautiful and delicious baked goods. These meringue and almond pastries are a must-have for weddings, everyday occasions, or just to indulge. Macarons are uniquely attractive desserts because of their large variety of colors and flavors. However, despite their rising popularity, there’s still some confusion about the difference between macarons and macaroons. Yes, they sound alike, but they’re not the same!
Let’s clear up some of the differences between those two iconic baked goods.
Most people tend to pronounce them wrong or confuse them, so we’re gonna clarify it once and for all.
Their ingredients are also different.
A macaron is a sweet meringue-based sandwich-like pastry and a macaroon is a lightly-baked coconut cookie. They both share one key component: whipped egg whites. Beyond that, they are totally different. To better understand what they are made of and why, let’s go back in time.
Both words originate from the Italian word maccherone, meaning fine dough.
It all started with an almond paste in Italy around the year 1500. At that time, it was a simple treat, without colors or varied flavors. From Italy, they went to France through the influence of Catherine de Medici, Italian by birth who married Duke Henri de Orleans. In 1660, both desserts were prepared for fairs and special events. Thanks to these events, macaroons became popular and different versions of the cookie were developed in different parts of France, conquering the palates of the aristocracy.
Macaroons were made plain and as a single-side crunchy cookie until 1830, when it began to be the macaron—with one ‘o—we all know and love, with two cookies as a kind of sandwich. The inside was filled with jam, spiced butter, or ganache. Since then, they have been a resounding success worldwide. Not only for its sweet taste but also for their unmatched aesthetics.
Made in different varieties of colors and flavors (like Blueberry Cheesecake, Espresso Macchiato, or Birthday Cake), they’re one of the most photogenic pastries and have turned into Instagram “stars”. Whether it’s a single macaron to enjoy with a cup of tea or a pyramid for a party, they definitely are an eye-pleaser, and they make everything around them shine. Whichever pastry you prefer, both macarons and macaroons help us enjoy the sweeter side of life in every bite.