If you’re a fan of light, fluffy French macarons, then you might get a little miffed every time someone calls them macaroons. After all, macaroons are those singed, coconutty treats that are about as far from dainty French cookies as you can get, right? WRONG! It turns out that both macarons and macaroons can lay claim to the same origins. So, which came first? Let’s find out.
The Origins of Macarons and Macaroons
Macarons can trace their origins back to an Italian monastery in the 8th century. Legend has it that an Italian nun brought the recipe with her to France in the 16th century, where it quickly gained popularity at the royal court. French macarons as we know them today began appearing in bakeries in the early 1800s.
Interestingly, macaroons also have their roots in Italy. It is believed that they were introduced to France by Crusader knights who had sampled them during their travels in Italy and Palestine. An Italian chef named Nicolas Stohrer is credited with making the first recorded batch of French macaroons in 1792. He later went on to become the head chef for King Louis XVI and Marie Antoinette at the palace of Versailles!
So, Which Came First?
While both desserts have similar origins, it seems clear that French macarons came first. However, over time, the two desserts have diverged so much that they are now quite different. French macarons are delicate cookies made with almond flour, sugar, egg whites, and flavored with fruit or chocolate ganache. On the other hand, macaroons are denser cookies made with shredded coconut and held together with condensed milk or eggs
So there you have it! The answer to whether it’s “macaron” or “macaroon” is clear: it depends on what kind of cookie you’re talking about. If you’re referring to dainty almond flour cookies filled with ganache or fruit preserves, then it’s “macaron.” But if you’re referring to chewy coconut cookies held together with condensed milk or eggs, then it’s “macaroon.” Hopefully this clears up any confusion next time you’re perusing the bakery aisle!