You know we’ve got macaron mania here at Miss Buttercup!
If you spend any time at all on our site, you’ll come across plenty of articles all about this undeniably delicious French creation.
However, while the story of the macaron might begin in France, it certainly doesn’t end there.
In fact, since its creation, the humble macaron has traveled far and wide and taken on many shapes and sizes the world over.
So, if you’re a fan of the traditional French treat, then you’ll love some of the creative alternatives that have popped up across the globe.
But hey, don’t take my word for it!
Read on and be amazed at the global reach that’s been achieved by this timeless cookie.
First up, the country where it all began – France.
Macarons are synonymous with the country of their birth – France.
While most macaron lovers already know this, what you might not be aware of is that within the country, there are many regional varieties. Though it’s not known precisely which region can lay claim to the original macaron, there’s one thing they all have in common.
Every variety is scrumptious!
Amiens Macarons (Macarons d’Amiens)
The Amiens macaron hails from the Picardy region. It’s traditionally made with a blend of ground Valencia almonds, eggs, sugar, and honey. Other ingredients can include fruit (as a jelly or compote). The traditional flavors for these are apple and apricot.
Unlike the colorful macarons most of us are accustomed to, Amiens macarons are more dense and have a grainy appearance. A lightly crisp exterior gives way to a soft and chewy inside.
The Amiens macaron has a history that stretches back to the late 1800s. It’s here that a man named Jean-Baptiste Trogneux established a confectionery. However, it was his son, Jean, who is said to have perfected the recipe for the now famous macaron. With just the right blend of ingredients, he created what is today known as the macarons d’Amiens.
In fact, the tradition carries on to this day. The bakery is into its fifth generation and sells millions of macarons each year at its ten locations.
Basque Macarons (Macarons Basques)
Also known as “macarons Basques”, these cookies originated in the Basque Country. It’s an area of straddling the border between France and Spain.
Basque macarons differ from what many of us would consider a French macaron. First, there’s no filling and the cookie itself is far crunchier and has a very rustic look as opposed to the finery of the traditional macaron. Its ingredients have changed little over the years. Like other varieties, they have an almond flour base along with other ingredients such as potato (or corn) flour, egg whites, sugar, and vanilla extract.
It’s thought that the cookie first emerged during the time of the French Revolution. As the story goes, nuns from the town of Nancy began selling what was to be called, “macarons de Nancy”. From humble beginnings, the nuns moved to a bakery. The years rolled on and their fame grew and still today, the cookies are sold there.
Cormery Macarons (Macarons de Cormery)
Similar to the Basque macarons, it’s believed that the Cormery macarons also emerged from a convent in the 18th century.
While Comery macarons have ingredients which are like traditional macarons like grounds almonds, sugar and egg whites, the result is quite different. The cookie has a circular shape with a hole in its center as opposed to a traditional macaron composed of two solid cookies sandwiching a filling.
Montmorillon Macarons (Macaron de Montmorillon)
The town of Montmorillon is well-known for its longstanding tradition of macaron baking. It’s believed that the recipe of the Montmorillon macaron has changed very little since it was first created more than a century and a half ago.
Unlike the cookie sandwich style of the traditional macaron, the circular Montmorillon macaron is much more biscuit-like in its appearance. Today, the traditional Montmorillon macaron is served at the town’s oldest bakery, Maison Rannou-Métivie, which has been in operation since 1920.
Saint Emilion Macarons (Macarons de Saint-Emilion)
Rounding out our tour of France’s variety of macarons are the Saint Emilion Macarons. Like many other types we’ve discussed, these macarons also owe their creation to nuns. This time, it was an order of Carmelite nuns from Saint Emilion that first developed them.
Rustic in appearance and making use of basic ingredients, these cookies quickly became a beloved treat in the region. They are known for their crispy, crunchy exterior, which conceals a moist and chewy center. Many compare the texture of the cookie to the more well-known type available in Paris. However, Saint Emilion macarons do not have any filling.
|Amiens||Picardy||Dense and grainy, with a lightly crisp exterior and a soft and chewy inside. Traditional flavors include apple and apricot.||Created by Jean-Baptiste Trogneux in the late 1800s, perfected by his son Jean. The recipe is still used today, and sold in millions at the family’s ten bakeries.|
|Basque||Basque Country||Rustic, no filling, and a crunchy texture. Made from almond flour, egg whites, sugar, and vanilla extract.||Thought to have originated from Nancy during the French Revolution, sold by nuns. They later moved to a bakery and still sold today.|
|Cormery||N/A||Circular shape with a hole in the center, similar ingredients to traditional macarons but with a different result.||Believed to have originated from a convent in the 18th century.|
|Montmorillon||Montmorillon||Circular, biscuit-like appearance, similar recipe to traditional macarons and served at the town’s oldest bakery, Maison Rannou-Métivie since 1920.||A longstanding tradition of macaron baking in Montmorillon, recipe unchanged since its creation over a century and a half ago.|
|Saint Emilion||Saint Emilion||Rustic, crispy and crunchy exterior, moist and chewy center. No filling.||Developed by Carmelite nuns from Saint Emilion, quickly became a beloved treat in the region.|
Indian Macarons (Thoothukudi or Tuticorin)
Yes, you read the description correctly.
Technically, these cookies from India are considered macaroons, which aren’t the same thing as macarons.
However, it’s thought that the cookie originated as a European export and because of that, we’re including it on our list. However, I can promise you won’t be disappointed since these treats are scrumptious. Let’s learn more about them!
Thoothukudi (or Tuticorin) macaroons are thought to have first appeared in the town of Thoothukudi. The small port town is in the Indian state of Tamil Nadu.
Thoothukudi macarons differ from traditional macarons is many ways, but perhaps the most significant difference is the use of cashew nuts as a base as opposed to almond flour. Otherwise, similar ingredients like sugar and egg whites are used. Outside of Thoothukudi, it’s possible you might find variations of the traditional recipe which also include grated or shredded coconut, which adds a tropical flair.
Thoothukudi macarons have become quite popular and are widely available across the country.
|Indian Macarons (Thoothukudi or Tuticorin)||Thoothukudi, Tamil Nadu, India||Cashew nuts, sugar, egg whites||Grated or shredded coconut||Widely available across India|
Swiss Macarons (Luxemburgerli)
Technically speaking, Luxemburgerli (or Luxembourger), are not a type of macaron per se but a brand of cookie manufactured by Confiserie Sprüngli.
What distinguishes them from traditional macarons is their appearance – the cookies are smaller than what you might be accustomed to seeing.
Also, unlike other types of macarons, Luxemburgerli uses a buttercream filling exclusively, whereas you might find anything from preserves to ganache used elsewhere.
|Swiss Macarons||Confiserie Sprüngli||Smaller than traditional macarons||Buttercream exclusively|
Japanese Macarons (Makaron)
Our first Asian variation of the traditional European treat comes by way of Japan.
Known as a “makaron”, you’ll discover that this variation contains ingredients you might consider traditionally Japanese.
Popular options include matcha green tea and yuzu as cookie flavorings. For filling, sweet bean paste and Hokkaido cream are often used.
|Macaron Type||Origin||Cookie Flavorings||Filling|
|Japanese Macarons (Makaron)||Japan||Matcha green tea, Yuzu||Sweet bean paste, Hokkaido cream|
South Korean Macarons (Ttungcarons)
Last on our list are South Korea’s contribution – Ttungcarons.
The first thing that jumps out to anyone who’s familiar with French macarons is the incredible amount of filling that’s used in a Ttungcaron cookie. When you consider that the name literally translates into “fat macaron”, well, you can’t really be surprised, can you?
While the ingredients (egg whites, sugar, and almond meal) are similar, that’s where the similarity ends.
They’re hugely popular and if you can fit your mouth around one, it’s easy to see why!
|Macaron Type||Origin||Ingredients||Unique Feature|
|Ttungcarons||South Korea||Egg whites, sugar, almond meal||High amount of filling|
Hey there, I’m Melody! I’m a lifelong foodie and love talking about it to anyone who’s willing to listen (or read!) about my opinions. My favorite pastimes include cooking, eating my cooking and thinking about what I’m going to make next!