National Macaroon Day
annually on May 31st
Macaroon cookies are celebrated and eaten today. They are made of almond meal or almond paste, as well as egg whites and sugar. Coconut is also often added, or completely replaces almonds in the recipe. Chocolate macaroons are made by dipping them into chocolate, and macaroons are also flavored with maraschino cherries or orange peel.
Their name stems from the Italian word for paste: maccarone. This is also the word for pasta or macaroni, and dumplings. The ingredients common in macaroons—in particular almond meal—were used to make marzipan at the time of the Renaissance. Some believe macaroons were created in an Italian monastery. They arrived in France in 1533, being introduced by the pastry chefs of Caterina de Medici. Italian Jews began eating the cookie because they did not contain flour or leavening, making them ideal for the Passover. Other European Jews began eating them as well, and they became a year-round favorite.