When Serious Eats sent us out to find New York’s best coconut macaroons, we divided and conquered. I immediately began researching the history and evolution of macaroons throughout history, which lead me to the culinary root of this classic Passover dessert: the Italian almond cookie. Read on:
Syrian and Egyptian Jews, we were told, make macaroons in the Italian-style, with almonds. In fact, the macaroon’s Italian etymological root, ammacarre, meaning to crush, refers to the making of almond paste. The first Italian macaroons were like amaretti cookies, made of ground almonds, egg whites, and sugar.
If macaroons began with nuts, why do we typically find coconut macaroons everywhere in NYC, from Passover Seders to Brooklyn cafes? Find out how coconut got involved here, at Serious Eats.