Macaroon is American English

Discussion in 'Pastries & Baking' started by margcata, Jan 29, 2012.

  1. margcata

    margcata Banned

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    @ Peter,

    Macaroon is American English and in French = macaron. Sorry for delay to answer you.

    Have great wkend,

    Margcata
     
  2. petemccracken

    petemccracken

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  3. ishbel

    ishbel

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    Nonsense!

    It's a British English term, too.

    I don't mind people making such definitive statements, but at least check if it's true!
     
  4. margcata

    margcata Banned

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    @ Peter,

    Yes you are correct, a macaroon is a coconut pastry that looks sort of like hay and the macaron is a sandwich type, however, as mentioned, many Latin words are False Friends when translated into English.

    I am going to check with a French colleague. Shall get back to u.

    Margcata.
     
  5. colin

    colin

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    Wasn't there just a thread on this?

    Anyway, a few data points

    The 1952 (British) _Good Housekeeping's Picture Cake Making_, gives a recipe for plain "macaroons" which is a meringue with ground almonds folded in,  followed by recipes for "coconut macaroons," "chocolate macaroons," "peanut macaroons" etc.,  all also meringues with stuff added.  No fillings.  

    The 1961 _Larousse Gastronomique_ (en anglais) gives macaroon as the equivalent of macaron, both defined as "a small round dry pastry made of almond paste, sugar and the white of an egg."  These are what you may know as amaretti, which is to say the egg whites are mixed in unbeaten.

    The 1961 NYT Cookbook lists "almond macaroons" but no other kind, similarly combining *unbeaten* egg white with almond paste. 

    Clearly at some point in the U.S. the un-meringued coconut variety became so popular as to be identical with "macaroons," resulting in the gummy, over-sweet confection Pete refers to.  

    If someone has different vintages of _Joy of Cooking_ lying around, that might shed more light.

    And then much more recently the almond ones, or just the plain meringues, were re-introduced into the U.S. sandwiching little fillings, yuppie candy for $2 a pop.
     
  6. ishbel

    ishbel

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    Yes, you're right, Colin there WAS a macaron/macaroon thread - but obviously it was felt the subject needed another airing!
     
  7. siduri

    siduri

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    Just to bring up another point, could it be that macaron or macaroon came from the habit in ? the 1700s? used to call anythiung italian or "macaroni"?  Like yankee doodle, he put the feather in his hat and called it "macaroni" - italian, elegant, maybe a little foppish? 

    Probably teh coconut version got mutated over time and became what i always knew as macaroons as a kid. 
     
  8. margcata

    margcata Banned

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    @ Peter,

    Yes, I had checked earlier, and you are correct in the description of the pastries ... which are from the Macaroon family.

    English: macaroon - a coconut small pastry with a " hay " type texture

    French: macaron - a sandwich cookie like cookie filled with merengue

    Italian: Maccarone ( another pastry )

    *** please note: the French word for macaroon is still macaron according to Oxford, French / English Dictionary 2012  

    Margcata.
     
  9. colin

    colin

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    Just to extend the pointless pedantry, the OED suggests that the source is the  Italian maccherone, going back to the late middle ages and meaning originally dumplings/gnocchi, but also fop/dandy/buffoon.    This is their earliest English cite for the cookie:

    1611    R. Cotgrave  Dict. French & Eng. Tongues,   Macarons, Macarons; little Fritter-like Bunnes, or thicke Losenges, compounded of Sugar, Almonds, Rosewater, and Muske.

    The word comes into English meaning both pastry and idiot, with "macaroni" for the pasta.  
     
  10. phatch

    phatch Moderator Staff Member

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    Thus the Yankee Doodle song with "Stuck a feather in his cap and called it Maccaroni"
     
    Last edited: Jan 30, 2012
  11. siduri

    siduri

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    as i said! QED
     
  12. petalsandcoco

    petalsandcoco

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    By today's standards in cooking and terms, I believe that what Pete has posted  is very true and have not known it any other way. By the way , David's blog is fantastic. Chris B. can attest to that.

    Petals.
     
  13. siduri

    siduri

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    Sorry, Margcata, but maccarone in italian means pasta.  Macarons in italian are called meringhe (meh -REEN-geh) or a certain type, probably the ones that are being referred to are called amaretti for the bitter almond they contain (amaro = bitter).  I googled maccarone and maccherone on google and some internet dictionaries in italian, and they always gave me pasta as the meaning.  More often than not if "maccarone" is used in italy to refer to a person, it means a stupid oaf.
     
     
  14. phatch

    phatch Moderator Staff Member

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    Ah, I missed your post as I skimmed the thread. My bad.
     
  15. siduri

    siduri

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    /img/vbsmilies/smilies/smile.gif no bad phatch - we all skim.  not only soup.

    just being facetious
     
  16. ishbel

    ishbel

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    In Georgian times, foppish, over-done, overdressed men-about-town/dandies were referred to as Macaronis.

    Please note, I know that using Georgian may not be acceptable to those who do not value/accept British timelines as worthy of value!...  /img/vbsmilies/smilies/licklips.gif
     
  17. siduri

    siduri

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    And I thought you meant Georgia on the black sea!  /img/vbsmilies/smilies/wink.gif
     
  18. ishbel

    ishbel

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    hahahaaa!

    Or Georgian as from the US State of Georgia?!!! /img/vbsmilies/smilies/lol.gif