In my attempt to write more this year I thought that I should tackle the most important things first:
Know the difference between a macaroon and a macaron.
Most people aren’t aware there is a difference. The auto-correct on phones won’t help either — often adding that additional “o” as if it’s not the difference between a wonderful treat and a passive eat.
What is the difference?
A macaroon is the brown cookie that is left when all the other good cookies are taken from a plate. The cookie usually has coconut in it and sometimes gets half dipped in chocolate to mask it’s lack of personality. You can remember this one because the “oo” in the name sounds like “ew” as in “ew, these cookies are so hit and miss.”
A macaron is the cookie with color and personality. It comes in all sorts of flavors. The baked meringue on the outside has a smooth top, ruffled crowns and is both chewy and airy. You can remember this one because the “o” in the name sounds like “ah” as in “ah yes, this is the good one.”
If you’re looking for a good macaron in Las Vegas, Le Macaron in the Grand Canal Shoppes is a fun adventure that ends with a great treat.
Also, Trader Joe’s sells a convenient pack of macarons that are quite good. Serve directly from the freezer for extra chew.
A macaron memory
A few years ago, my brother and I were walking the streets of Paris. We passed a bakery just as it was opening and decided to try it. (Visiting bakeries was a common theme on that trip actually.)
We picked out just the right mix of macarons so we could try all the flavors. By the time our purchase was complete, there was a line out the front door. It turns out that the chef is quite famous for his macarons. We had no idea.
Let the record show that I saw no bakeries dedicated to macaroons.