Today on the tray: Macaroons

can of macaroons
Macaroons in a can, kosher for Passover

May 31 is National Macaroon Day.

In my experience, macaroons come in a can labeled “Streit’s” or “Manischewitz,” and you eat them during Passover. But it turns out that macaroons cross religious and national boundaries.

According to the holiday site Punchbowl, “Culinary historians believe that macaroons originated in Italy. In fact, the word ‘macaroon’ comes from the Italian word for paste: ‘maccarone.’ A key ingredient in early macaroon recipes was almond paste. In 1533, Italian monks and nuns brought macaroons to France. Two Benedictine nuns, Sister Marguerite and Sister Marie-Elisabeth, baked and sold the tiny cakes in order to pay for their housing. They became known as the ‘Macaroon Sisters’ and their baking became famous throughout Europe.”

Below is a 1978 commercial for macaroons marketed by the British cake manufacturer Mr. Kipling. I searched but found no evidence that the company still makes them. Too bad, because the commercial says they prompted an uncharacteristic “outburst of excitement” from Mr. Kipling.

Mr. Kipling Six Macaroons commercial (1978)

Back to the Passover macaroons with which I am familiar: In this video, Rabbi Yonah buys a small package of macaroons and then complains that there is too much packaging and that the macaroons are too small. (There’s a solution for that: Buy the large cans instead of the tiny little packages!)

Rabbi Yonah’s critique of Streit’s macaroons


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