Object of desire: the macaron

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Eeny, meeny, miny, moe. If you know a better way of choosing a macaron, then please tell us. Chocolate, rosewater, liquorice or pistachio. Pale green, fuchsia pink or bright yellow. Macarons are always circular and one is never enough.

Name: macaron
Origins: I’ll let you into a secret – they don’t really come from the Champs-Elysées, but from Nancy, in Lorraine.
Close relatives: meringue and the whole petits-fours gang
Fans: everyone, from Pharrell Williams to Marie-Antoinette (in films, at least)

A date for the diary: International Macaron Day, 20 March

Signs of excellence:

  • a thin crust with no cracks
  • good visual harmony between shells and ganache
  • a slightly daunting succession of crunchy, moist and meltingly soft
  • an intense, powerful flavour