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Friday, May 12, 2017

The "Eatin' Our Macaron" Story

The store known as Macaron in Orient Village.
It was an ordinary day.  Carol just sliced the macaron in half and we tasted the sweet treat for the first time.  Only bought one at the little outside deli which stands inside Yellow Sub restaurant near Orient Village.  The deli, which makes the little treats on a daily schedule, carries the name of the miniature pastry they sell, "Macaron".  For years, while on vacation on the island of St. Martin, I have crawled out of bed about 7:15 am and headed to Orient Village to buy a few of the french pastries that are offered at either "Good Morning" or "Macaron".  
Display of homemade macarons for sale.
Tough to think of starting the morning on this French side of the island without a French treat for breakfast.  Offerings such as:  Chausson Aux Pommes (French Apple Turnovers), Pain Au Chocolat (Chocolate Bread), Brioche Nature (Sweet Bread), Pain Au Chocolat Aux Amandes (Chocolate Bread with Almonds), Croissant Aux Amandes (Crescent with Almonds), Swiss Au Chocolat (Swiss Chocolate), and Pain Aux Raisins (Bread with raisins) line the glass display cases of the shop and makes for a few early morning decisions as to what would be best to start the day.
My choice of breakfast treats for today.
Well, today, after making my selection of two Pain Au Chocolat and one Chausson Aux Pommes I also purchased a Macaron.  Just one, mind you, since the half-dollar sized sugary treats cost 1.40 Euros each.  They came in a variety of colors which made the display of macarons in the showcase look as if it were a rainbow.  Also reminded me of a miniature Whoopie Pie which is so famous in our hometown of Lancaster, PA, but is perhaps a quarter the size of our Amish-made treats.  Now, just to clarify a few things:  A Macaron, which is what I just bought, is pronounced mah-kah-ROHN and is a sandwich cookie made of an almond meringue filled with ganache, jam or frosting and is best eaten within a day or two of being made while a Macaroon is pronounced man-kah-ROON and is a cookie made with a lot of coconut and often paired with a chocolate frosting or dip and can be kept up to a couple of months, if sealed in an air-tight container.  The latter is commonly served during Passover because it carries no flour in its culinary contents.  
My macaron.
We have eaten Macaroons in the past, but had never sampled a macaron before and since we have traveled many times to French islands in the Caribbean, we thought it was well past time to try one.  Brought the two pastries home as well as the macaron and as little as the treat might be, cut it in half so we both could sample it.  French macarons are very delicate, frilly cookies which as I told you are very expensive.  They date back to the late 1700s when two Benedictine nuns were set adrift after post-revolutionary France banned religious orders.  They eventually found another calling: making macarons.  Carol and I shared the pink tinted treat and found the texture to be crunchy, yet chewy.  Just melted in our mouths.  "Well how'd you like your .75 Euro treat?" I asked my wife.  "Let's eat the pastries!" she said.  My trip to the small stand tomorrow will not include another macaron based on our assesment of our very first macaron.  But, that's OK, since the many choices of french pastries give us enough of decisions for the rest of our vacation on St. Martin.  It was another extraordinary day on the life of an ordinary guy.    

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