Happy Macaron Day! And yes, macaron, the French pastry, not the American macaroon of rolled coconut. Vancouver joins in on this international celebration for the first time, and honours the delectable, delicate pastry today as part of our diverse food culture. Of course, in Paris, where the commemoration was first officially instigated by pastry chef Pierre Hermé, they call it “le Jour du Macaron”.
The ethereal, elegant pastry is made from fine almond flour and airy egg whites, and comes in a rainbow of colours and flavours. Hermé himself is well-known for his bold, unexpectedly exquisite flavour combinations, such as Lime, Raspberry, and Espelette Pepper; Orange, Carrot, Ceylon, and Cinnamon; Olive Oil with Mandarin Orange; Balsamic Vinegar (made with a 25-year-old balsamic); Peach, Apricot, and Saffron; Champagne; Salted Caramel Popcorn; and many more. He has released a limited edition box of 24 macarons in honour of the occasion, with proceeds going towards Autistes Sans Frontières, a charity for families with autistic children.
Today, International Macaron Day is also celebrated in New York, Toronto, Budapest, and London, with its en vogue spirit spreading further every year. Participating bakeries are offering samples and sets for curious citizens and seasoned chefs alike. Swing by French Made Baking for one free macaron per customer, and donate to their Macaron Day Children’s Hospital campaign while you’re at it. Stop by Thierry’s Patisserie & Café to purchase a few of these delicious treats, and Chef Thierry Busset will donate 10% to Growing Chefs! Chefs for Children’s Urban Agriculture, a charity dedicated to food sustainability. Don’t forget to drop by various Urban Fare locations to sample Kitchening With Carly’s macarons and celebrate the launch of her pastry line, which will now be displayed in all Urban Fare bakery cases. And of course, don’t forget to try our own beautiful macarons, created by Chef Reto!
What makes a perfect macaron? Look for smooth shells with no cracks or bumps that crack gently like eggshells, a moist and smoothly tender inside, a pleasing ratio of filling to cookie, a balance of sweetness and almond richness, and a stick-togetherness that doesn’t compromise its delicateness.