The macaron, the symbol of the French lifestyle
Macarons came to France via Italy (possibly introduced by Catherine de’ Medici when she married into the French royal family in 1533). The original Italian recipe underwent various changes in several regions of France (giving us the Nancy and Amiens macarons among many others). Back then, macarons were made of a mixture of ground almond, sugar and egg whites (much like today), but the egg whites were not beaten and the mixture was prepared by hand using a spoon. In the 1830s the “Gerbet” or Paris macaron arrived on the scene and was the first based on French meringue made by whipping egg whites and castor sugar into a dense mixture. It was made then as now of two discs joined in pairs, though without a filling. It was only in the 1900s that the filling was added in stages, first ganache, then butter cream, then myriad other centres, until the macaroon became the toothsome treat so enjoyed today.
An essential patisserie
The macaron is the uncontested star of French patisserie, the most loved petit four in France, and is exported and enjoyed all over the world as a product of superior quality. It is a symbol of our way of life and pastrymaking skill, a supreme example of elegance, balance and refinement. In mature markets, where consumption has exploded in a very short time, customers have become experts looking for higher quality and a more intense experience.