Epicurious Perpetuates Macaron/Macaroon Confusion


Epicurious has added its two cents to the ever growing list of year-end lists with a fun roster of Food Trend Predictions for 2011. Among them are food halls, pop-up cafés, tiki bar cocktails, foraging, sweet potatoes, and macaroons. Or macarons.

Although the story identifies the trend as “macaroons,” it defines “2011’s sweet sensation” as made with “ground almonds or almond paste, sugar, and egg whites.” Which describes the ingredients for a macaron, the ethereal French sandwich cookie that is, as the article goes on to mention, the subject of cookbooks like I Love Macarons, Macarons: Authentic French Cookie Recipes From the Macaron Café, and plain old Macarons, which Epicurious mistitles Macaroons.

As anyone who’s suffered through a Passover dessert buffet can tell you, the only thing that macaroons have in common with macarons is a lack of gluten. The latter are made primarily of shredded coconut and, though delicious in the right hands, not exactly what America (or at least its publishing houses) is allegedly going crazy over.

The distinction — or more accurately the confusion surrounding it — has been driving pastry freaks nuts for years. Also, semantics aside, this all sounds suspiciously familiar — possibly because we were told that macarons were the Next Big Cupcake of 2010.