When one thinks of classic French culinary emblems, many things come to mind – the crispy baguette, the buttery croissant, the indulgent pain au chocolat. But in recent years, a certain French pastry has risen in popularity on both sides of the Atlantic: the chewy and delightful macaron.
Somewhat ignored in the past by pastry chefs and consumers alike, the macaron has become the little cookie that could. Much like the American obsession with the cupcake, the macaron is now a French favorite, glorified and highlighted in Parisian bakeries like Laudrée, Fauchon, and Pierre Hermé.
Its rise in popularity in France made way for the macaron to find many fans in the States, specifically in New York City. So much so that Macaron Day was created to celebrate this wonderful little dessert so many have fallen in love with.
A day for French indulgence
Macaron Day began in 2010, organized and spearheaded by Francois Payard, chef and owner of FP Patisserie and Francois Payard Bakery in New York. The event coincides with Macaron Day in Paris created by Maison Pierre Hermé in association with Relais desserts.
To celebrate Macaron Day, bakeries across New York City will be giving away one free macaron to each customer who comes in and mentions that they are there for Macaron Day. Organizer Francois Payard says, “It’s a great day to celebrate the French macaron and help people who don’t know about the macaron discover what a macaron really is.”
To see a list of participating bakeries, click here.
French community feel
With so many participating bakeries, a wonderful sense of community arises and bakery owners and chefs are excited to showcase everything they have to offer with new customers.
Epicerie Boulud’s pastry chef Mymi Eberhardt shares, “Macaron Day gives us at Epicerie Boulud the opportunity to highlight one of our most classic French pastries, and on a larger scale, to highlight our wide array of French pastries. It [puts a spotlight on] how the French like to indulge, and helps promote French food culture in NYC. I hope our customers that come to us for the first time on Macaron Day will discover something new and keep coming back for our French sweets!”
Maria Delgado-Gambini of Chantilly Bakery in Bronxville agrees, “I think Macaron Day in NYC is terrific! Many of us who have traveled to Europe and have walked the streets of Paris and the corners of France, have many times enjoyed this French staple.
“I think visitors from all over the world enjoy this incredible pastry, and many times bring back a box or two from their travels. I know the times we went, before opening up the shop here in New York, we brought back a macaron or two and wished that we could enjoy them year round.”
Click here to read Part Two of our ultimate guide to Macaron Day NYC.
Not in New York? Click here to read our guide to the best macarons in Chicago.
1 & 3. Courtesy Epicerie Boulud
2 & 4. Adrienne Mansard