[Sca-cooks] Macarons

Terry Decker t.d.decker at att.net
Sun Jul 18 13:57:08 PDT 2010

Anytime something gets traced to Catherine d' Medici I reach for the salt 
shaker.  Her legendary cooks (and in at least one tale, the monks who 
originated the macaroon with them) are likely myth.  Married in 1533, she 
was a minor court figure until 1560, when she became regent for her second 
son, Charles.  She was at the peak of her power between 1560 and 1574 and it 
is in this period that she became the trendsetter for France.

Linguistically, macaron does tie to the Italian, maccaroni, meaning dumpling 
and the English macaroon derives from the French, so there may be something 
to the connection with Catherine.  However, I would expect this to be later 
than the 1533 date most of the tales tout.

There is an English reference to macaroons at the end of the 16th Century 
(I'll have to dig for the source) and there is a reference from one of 
Markham's texts in 1611.


> We are trying to find some additional period information on macarons - the
> almond cookies from France.  All we seem to be able to determine is that
> Catherine de Medici brought them with her.
> If anyone has anything more informative we'd be grateful.
> Shoshana

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