Tastemaster is back on the rural Tamil Nadu sojourn on popular demand from readers. A certain reader requested that the Macaroon be added to the list. So here goes.
Macaroons were originally first tried out in Italy by monks. Once you eat it, you fall in love with it and this is what happened to the French who happened to be passing by an Italian monastery. And like an epidemic, this craze for macaroons spread to France & thence on to the British Isles.
We have to thank the French for bringing this to India. They had set up their base in Pondicherry & a few Frenchmen who decided to sail on a Sunday to the south of Tamil Nadu, probably disembarked at the Port town of Tuticorin for a bite & deposited a few of those Macaroons with a local. (I’m just imagining this is what brought the macaroon to Tuticorin. Sounds probable doesn’t it? )
But since then, there has been no looking back. Tuticorin is now ,undeniably the Macaroon capital of India. Admitted, there are a few competitors in Mangalore, but the Tuticorin Macaroon is in a league of its own.
Now, as usual, for the uninitiated, what on earth is a Macaroon? A Macaroon is a cookie. Its as simple as that. But its USP is that it melts in the mouth. The typical macaroon is made with egg white, powdered sugar & flavoured with cashew nuts and is the product of some time in the oven. Usually shaped in the form of a cone, there is no hard & fast rule that it ought to be like this.
Some enterprising chaps have come out with variations, including coconut flavoured & lemon flavoured ones. But there is none, that can beat the original Cashew Macaroon for taste.
A bite of the macaroon leaves you with a pleasant sensation of crackling on the tongue while it melts & it leaves the pleasant aftertaste of cashewnuts.
Macaroons are best taken as dessert preferably after lunch. But that doesn’t mean they taste bad on a liesurely sunday morning when you are reading your newspaper.
So, now that you’ve read this, your duty would be nothing less than giving it a try. Versions of the macaroon are available in most places in India, but if you have a colleague or a friend who hails from Tuticorin, that would be your best bet.
So, go ahead, fall in love with Macaroons.