Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Sisterhood of the Macaron

Legend has it that two Benedictine nuns, Sister Marguerite and Sister Marie-Elisabeth sought asylum in the town of Nancy during the French Revolution. They paid for their housing by baking and selling macaron cookies and thus became know as the Macaron Sisters.

This post is dedicated to all my girlfriends who absolutely adore Ladurée macarons.

Like so many bloggers before me I could not resist to write a post about the lovely French Macaron. When in Paris you cannot miss a visit to the Ladurée shop for a cup of tea and a taste of their ever so famous macarons. Beware of Pierre Hermé who's macarons also look divine and taste amazing. Hermé's window display is even more spectacular than Ladurées.

But since I claim Switzerland to be my home, I must insist that the prize for best macarons goes to Sprüngli in Zürich. Their "Luxemburgerli" are a delicacy that resemble the macarons but are a wee bit smaller, just like a little sister of the macaron. These mini-macaroons with their delicious fillings have become not just a symbol of Confiserie Sprüngli, but also an emblem for Zurich as such.

The success of the Luxemburgerli began more than 50 years ago. At the end of 1950s a young pastry chef from Luxembourg, with whose employer the Sprüngli family were friendly, was spending some time in Zurich learning his trade. Here he began to produce the speciality of his Luxembourg master confectioner, and because no-one could come up with a name for the new product, this airy delicacy was simply named the "Luxemburgerli" after its country of origin. As Luxemburgerlis became more and more popular the Sprüngli pastry chefs in Zurich made it their ambition to improve and refine the little macaroons.

Nowadays there are more than 30 different kinds of Luxemburgerli, and every month Confiserie Sprüngli creates a new taste experience for its Luxemburgerli connoisseurs. You can find macaroons almost anywhere – but for Luxemburgerlis you have to go to Sprüngli!

My favourite one? Champagne , of course!

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