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American food trends: Why Macaroons Will Conquer the Dessert World

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   Are macaroons the new cupcakes? I asked myself this very question while walking down Fifth Avenue on my way to work last week.

   It’s a rather broad question which could generate a slew of interesting answers. Remember all of those random, overpriced cupcake brands? Yeah, me neither. The cupcake is over. Farewell, old friend. It’s tired. It’s so 2007.

   I’ve updated my palate and catapulted my taste buds into a new, elevated direction. What could possibly be more glam than a macaroon? Those round, delectable little bites of euphoria are the new “it” snack. I like to think of them as the cool, mysterious girl at the party who arrives late yet becomes the center of attention anyway. Everyone is talking about the macaroon lately and indeed they should be.

   The macaroon trend seems to have taken off in a huge way in the last couple of years. Over the past two years, there has roughly been a forty percent spike in macaroon sales. The people have spoken. It’s a French delicacy as old as time that has been enjoyed by American “foodies” for many years but only recently has it become a food trend. Whether you want to admit it or not, macaroons have become an “it” food.

   At one point, companies like Baked by Melissa and Crumbs were thriving! These companies managed to make the cupcake trend ubiquitous. With fun packaging, cool flavors, and brilliant overall marketing, they were able to make the cupcake young, interesting and cute. Everyone was excited about cupcakes in general. The mini cupcake was a hit and the oversized cupcakes also drew crowds. Now I’ve been noticing the same sort of excitement redirected to a different treat. Maybe it’s their aesthetic, maybe it’s their price point (not at all cheap) or maybe it’s their undeniably delicious taste. Whatever it is, they’re shaking up the competition and may be the most fashionable desert this year (so far) and it doesn’t look like they are budging any time soon.

   One of my favorite things about macaroons is that you don’t even have the option to not like them. They come in such a ridiculously wide array of flavors that even the pickiest eater at the function can find their true match. From caramel, chocolate, red velvet, and vanilla to rose, lavender, and lemon (just to name a few), I highly doubt that anyone could feel left out of the macaroon movement.

   Macaroons are fancy while cupcakes are common. Yes, macaroons are gaining popularity but a lot of people have still yet to try one. They give off an air of elegance without seeming pretentious. I like to think of them as a mini representation of luxury that anyone can incorporate into their lives. Macaroons are light while cupcakes are heavy. It’s far more fashionable to carry a light weight macaroon with a wisp of cream or jelly in between rather than an overbearing cupcake with a disproportionate amount of icing slathered on top. This is always so messy and tends to give me anxiety because snacks should never be that stressful!

   They’re usually presented really beautifully in an array of colors wrapped up in a box. Macaroon bakeries know this a luxurious delicacy and they make sure to present them as such. Sometimes there’s even a ribbon involved (I’m a sucker for decoration). They’re always so pleasing to the eye. I think a trip to your local French bakery is in order. Buy all of the macaroons you can find, then run yourself a bath, light a candle or two, and treat yourself.

By: Lola Odetola