Perhaps you have already discovered Trader Joe’s latest addition to its dessert offerings. Admittedly, it has been a very long time since either of us has consumed any commercially prepared baked goods, especially ones that are not certified gluten free. We can also not vouch for its 100% gluten free status in the sense that there might be some cross-contamination risk due to shared equipment. Trader Joe’s itself has designated them to be gluten free and after checking the ingredients, we definitely concur. As always, especially if you are very sensitive to even the slightest level of cross-contamination, be pro-active, do your own homework and research before indulging in any baked goods. Your own wellness needs to be your most important concern.
As you can see, a truly health conscious consumer would probably shun this product because it is quite rich (high in fat, sugar and starch). Well, sometimes an occasional splurge is okay, and since we have done quite a few gluten free product reviews in the past, we felt that this one is worth noting.
Trader Joe’s Macarons are reminiscent of the macarons found in Paris. They are slightly crunchy on the outside, with a softer texture on the inside, filled with a sweet and tasty chocolate ganache filling that melts in your mouth.
It instantly brought back memories of visits to Paris — walking through the different arrondisements, filled with countless patisseries, many of which offer their own take on macarons, as well as croissants and many other French delectables. Macarons are being offered in every color of the rainbow, and I have personally pretty much avoided them because I didn’t feel drawn to consuming food coloring, or sugar. However, on occasion, I do enjoy good quality chocolate. Since these were chocolate macarons. . . they were nearly irresistible.
Ladurée, is one of the most famous Parisian patisseries and is credited with being the “inventor” of the double-decker macaron. They purportedly sell over 15,000 of these specialties every single day. Quite impressive. Laduree also provided all the macarons for Sofia Coppola’s movie Marie Antoinette.
Laduree’s became famous, when Louis-Ernest Laduree’s grandson, Pierre Desfontaines, came up with the original idea of joining two macaron shells together with a ganache filling. Back in 1930, he also opened a tearoom inside Laduree’s, permitting women to meet in a public place for tea and dessert. A revolutionary idea for its time, that considered this to be the sole domain of men. Hmmm, what a concept?!?
Upon researching these now famous macarons, we discovered an abundance of materials — it seems that everyone has written about macarons at one time or another. What is it with our fascination with sugar, chocolate, etc.??
History seems to tell us that the macaron originated in Italy, where it was introduced by Catherine de Medici’s chef in 1533 at the occasion of her wedding to Duc d’Orleans, who later became the King of France in 1547.
Sit back and relax with your favorite tea or coffee, while exploring the following links.
The web provides many links to macaron recipes, the best of which can be found on David Lebovitz’s blog here. He offers his own famous recipes as well as a review of Hisako Ogita’s book “I love Macarons.” As usual, his posts are a delight to read.
A great interview on npr, discussing our fascination with macarons can be found at this link together with a great post by Neda Ulaby entitled “Move over cupcakes: Make way for the Macaron.
Artisan bread baker and pastry chef, Dara Reimers of the Bread Shack in Auburn, Main, shares her recipe for Chocolate Macarons at this site.
We definitely give Trader Joe’s a thumbs up for offering all the gluten free francophiles an opportunity to taste this well-known dessert. We did not experience any “gluten reactions” and loved the flavor, texture and taste, albeit a little on the sweet side.
We linked to just a small offering of great posts, interviews and sites. Who knew that the fascination with and love for the little macaron could spark such a frenzy of writings and creative efforts, shared by so many.
Feel free and share with us any of your own experiences with macarons. We enjoy hearing from you.