Did you know that Ladurée sells over 4 million macarons? That’s just short of the population in Melbourne!
The Macaron first originated in 8th-century Venice where it was popular in monasteries. It was brought to France during the Renaissance by Catherine de Medici when she married Henry II of France; the pastry chefs she brought with her would make them for her in the palace!
Macarons did not gain popularity, however, until the end of the 18th century when a convent near Cormery began making them. When the convent was closed because of the Revolution, two nuns that had sought asylum in Nancy decided to bake and sell these pastries in order to pay for their accommodation. Suzanne-Marguerite Gaillot et Marie-Elisabeth Morlot became known as the “Macaron Sisters” – what savvy entrepreneurs!
The macaron we know today is different from those of the past. It wasn’t until the 1930s that the crispy discs were sandwiched together with ganache, cream or other fillings. These days, who could imagine a macaron as only a pair of crispy discs?
The new macaron was known as the “Paris macaron,” and Pierre Desfontaines de Ladurée is credited as one of its creators. No wonder they sell 4 million a year!
The Modern Macaron
Today, the macaron is the most popular dessert in France and the flavours get more creative by the day. Whilst some of the more common flavours, such as rose and chocolate (of course), are very popular, so are the more bizarre filling choices, like foie gras, Cheetos and even Vegemite!
Nowadays, macarons have also become part of fashion Haute Couture. Indeed, Ladurée and other Parisian macaron-makers frequently collaborate with brands, such as Emilio Pucci and Christian Louboutin, who design boxes because macarons aren’t just a culinary wonder, but also an aesthetic luxury. They deserve as much attention as high fashion clothing and handbags – of course!
Moreover, whilst your average macaron can be bought for only a few dollars, Haute Couture macarons can go for more than $7,000 a box! The iconic Pierre Herme offers these macarons which are bedazzled with the finest and most luxurious ingredients, such as fleur de sel, red grape and fine balsamic vinegar.
A macaron may simply be a delicacy to some, but there is a lot more behind it!
If by now you are craving a delicious, pillowy-soft macaron to get over those winter blues, look no further… We may not be able to go to Paris at the moment, but let Paris come to you!
You can find marvellous macarons (without that Haute Couture price tag) right here in Melbourne:
- La Belle Miette
- Lindt Chocolate Cafe
- Ganache Chocolate