Full disclosure: I’m Jewish, and I’m definitely not French. Religion and nationality aside, I am a human being with tastebuds, and I am here to tell the public what they already know: Coconut macaroons—the Passover staple—are infinitely better than dainty, airy, negligible French macarons. The comparison arises because the names of the two cookies are so similar; although, “macaroon” is easier to pronounce without sounding like a douche (macaroon: 1, macaron: 0).
Point blank, the macaroon’s foundation of rich, sweet, coconut beats out French macarons’ sugary base of whipped air any day. No matter how pretty and whimsical all those unnatural macaron colors look on your Instagram feed and in the display case at your favorite trendy bakery, macarons are a fleeting fad like the Cronut or the cupcake. We admit, the macaron does have some legit history—the grandson of Louis Ernest Laduree first created the double-decker macaron in the beginning of the 20th century. But the populace’s current macaron infatuation is entirely faddish. I predict that the pastry will soon disappear into that black hole into which trendy foodstuff goes when the public stops caring.
Macarons are for the Tasti D-Lite crowd, the 16 Handles crowd, the low-carb brownie crowd.
Now let’s talk about the two confections in the context of what they stand for. French macarons are a “guilt free” dessert, adored by people who feel it wrong to neglect themselves sweets altogether, so they choose to eat small, insubstantial pastries. Macarons are for the Tasti D-Lite crowd, the 16 Handles crowd, the low-carb brownie crowd. I am one-hundred percent certain that macaron eaters sneakily devour coconut macaroons before going to bed when no one’s looking, because even they know that the Passover treat is far superior.
Coconut macaroons, which are gluten free while still being delicious, stand for decadence and tradition. Because Jews do not eat wheat or leavened ingredients during the week that they celebrate Passover, and macaroons contain little more than shredded coconut, sugar, and egg whites, the cookies are known as a Passover dessert. Vanilla and salt are sometimes added, and the finished cookie can be dipped in chocolate.
If you’ve only had sub-par Manischewitz brand coconut macaroons which come in a tin, be very ashamed. But all is not lost. Here is an excellent recipe for New Classic Coconut Macaroons from Food52.