You open the door to walk into the shop. A luxurious fragrance of freshly baked croissants and cinnamon sprinkled muffins greets your senses. Your mouth starts to water. Welcome to Bisous Bisous, a patisserie shop so French you want to say Bonjour!
Andrea Meyer, a French pastry chef and owner of Bisous Bisous (bee-zoo bee-zoo), has made the journey of a lifetime to bring delicate light-as-air goodness to DFW. Bisous Bisous is one of the hottest places in the Metroplex to get authentic French macarons and pastries.
Trading a hat for an apron
Growing tired of the stress of corporate life, Andrea chose to trade-in her project manager hat for an apron. She journeyed to France to pursue a passion learning how to create delicate yet flavorful, French pastries. She brought the knowledge of French baking secrets back to Texas to open Bisous Bisous on the outskirts of Uptown.
Macarons vs. Macaroons
French macarons, which are very different from American macaroons, are petite pastry sandwiches in a rainbow of pastel colors and diverse flavors with a creamy center. American macaroons resemble small haystacks of toasted shredded coconut. Both are delicious in their own right – but distinctly very different.
Andrea and her team create and bake over ten delightful flavors of macarons such as tiramisu, salted caramel, Tahitian vanilla, and passion fruit every day. Maybe you are looking for a taste that is uniquely you, such as a pistachio salted caramel or a raspberry tiramisu? Andrea’s got you covered. She will create and design custom flavors and colors for your party or corporate event. A rainbow of Macarons stacked in a tower makes a beautiful and stunning (not to mention delicious) display.
More than just Macarons
Andrea and her team also bake muffins, cakes, and an assortment of croissants with smooth, creamy fillings. Their muffins are not a standard run-of-the-mill muffin found in every other bakery. These muffins are rolled with a variety of fillings such as cinnamon or chocolate. On top of each muffin is a dollop of flavored frosting with nuts, coconut, or festive candy sprinkles. The croissants have a flaky buttery-richness that make them a perfect accompaniment with a cup of espresso.
Baking class anyone? You bring the wine.
Bisous Bisous also offers baking parties. Bring a bottle of wine and 8 -10 of your closest friends for a customized weekend class. During a 3-hour class, you will learn the beginnings of the art of creating French pastries in your kitchen. By the end of the class, you just might feel like you are in France.
To sample authentic French pastries or to schedule a class to learn the delicate art of French baking, stop by Bisous Bisous at 3700 McKinney Avenue, Suite 150 in Uptown Dallas or call (214) 613 – 3570. You will be glad you did.
2 thoughts on “Macaron vs Macaroon: The Art of French Baking”
there is indeed a debate on whether the 2 words mean different things, and most of the media sources are in the “totally different” camp
– however, when you take a closer look, most of the “totally different” camp arguments are not based on any credible evidence or logic; most of them simply pronounce that the 2 words refer to 2 different things and strongly suggest that if you didn’t know the difference you should be grateful for the education…most of them support their argument simply by citing someone else’s article, which cites someone else’s article…
– the “same but different spelling” camp, however, is grounded in far more credible evidence and logic, and takes pains to explain how the same word with different spelling, at various times and in various places came to mean slightly different things to certain people:
* “macarons” were a simple cookie developed in the Middle Ages-Renaissance period, made popular in the 16th-century French court of Catherine de Medici
* the word comes from the Italian word “maccherone”, which refers to something ground into a fine paste; the earliest macarons were made with egg whites, sugar and ground almond paste (as an aside the pasta macaroni shares the same root word)
* some time in the 19th-century, dried shredded coconut was added or used to replace the almonds in some recipes
* European Jews migrating to America brought the cookie with them, and for various reasons the coconut version became more prevalent in America
* as Americans are wont to doing with English words, they spelled it differently, either “macaroon” or “mackroon”
* it was not until 1930 that the Parisienne bakery Laduree started combining 2 halves of a macaron together with a ganache filling to create what is now the most familiar version of the macaron
* when the elegant French double-layered version finally made its way to America in the late 20th-century, certain food writers, out of either ignorance or cultural bias, did not recognise its commonality with the humble coconut cookie they called a “macaroon” and instead declared them completely different things
* by now of course, mangling the spelling of words was no longer in fashion, and not only did the new creation deserve to be spelt in the elegant French way, the “macaron” now had to be pronounced in the proper French way
* this mistake borne of ignorance and bias simply got repeated and perpetuated, and eventually some (but not all) English dictionaries acknowledged them as 2 different words…the single-O spelling referred to the almond-based, double-layered meringue with a cream or ganache filling, and the double-O spelling referred to the round-mound coconut-based cookie
* of course the French (and the rest of Europe) were not part of this debate, and continued to enjoy the macaron in its various forms – almond-based, coconut-based, single-layer, double-layer, etc…
* so if you go to the Alsace region in France today, you will find a Macaron D’Alsace which looks nothing like the Laduree Macaron (which is sometimes referred to as Macaron Parisien) and which some poncy foodie will insist should be called a “macaroon” because it is a round-mound cookie made with shredded coconut…and if you go to Amiens you will find a single-layer almond-based Macaron that looks more like a sponge biscuit (or a Laduree Macaron before its been sliced in half and glued back together with the filling) – if travelling to France is too difficult you can Google the photos
My eventual conclusion is that the original error was to believe the 2 spellings meant different things, due to a combination of ignorance and cultural bias.
I’ve always argued that language is a living thing, so the fact that some dictionaries acknowledge the difference may mean that, in the English language, they are now different words meaning different things. But since a quick Google search (again) will show that many people (including established food magazines) also use the double-O spelling for the Parisienne double-layer version, I’d rather view it as an etymological reunion than an error.
So the next time someone raises their eyebrows at you for calling a “macaron” a “macaroon”, please feel free to bore them with the fruits of my research…
Wow! Thanks for all the historical info! I always enjoy learning new tidbits in the foodie realm.