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Jul 26, 2013 | Regional press

“The macaroon, star of the USA” Column by Yannick VERNINI

Last month, Nicolas Génot returned from London. The baker who runs the Maison des Soeurs Macarons had presented his bergamot sweets at Harrods, in an area showcasing the finest French craftmanship. This time, it’s across the Atlantic that something is going on. Once again, a speciality from Nancy is featured.

In their Wednesday edition, the New York Times highlights the Nancy macaroons, explaining that Nicolas Génot bakes the famous biscuit based on a secret, centuries-old recipe. In order to set the scene, the daily newspaper reveals that in 1792, “two Benedictine nuns, driven from their convent after France’s postrevolutionary government banned religious orders, took refuge with a local doctor and made a living making macarons.” Once this historical clarification has been made, an ode to the biscuit – “crisp on the outside, moist and soft in the middle” – unfolds. In spite of everything, the New York Times explains that “what was once the most exquisite of small pleasures, is everywhere today, as ordinary as Oreos […] But with the French economy spiraling downward, with pessimism infecting France like black mold, la patisserie (the pastry) has risen in importance.” Could the macaroon be a remedy against austerity and despair? Such an idea has gained ground and has fast-tracked Nicolas Génot into the position of ambassador to the ducal city in the columns of the most famous daily New York newspaper.