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Macarons may no longer be the hottest mini dessert around (and they have doughnuts to blame for it), but that doesn't mean those adorable 'sandwiches' can't still be celebrated.
Macaron Day is March 20, a holiday created seven years ago by Parisian pastry chef Pierre Hermé as a way to honour this great French treat. It's now become an international festival, with events taking place all over the world, including Toronto, Vancouver, New York City, Manila and Budapest. And best of all? Each of these celebrations is putting proceeds toward various charities. Dessert and a donation in one? There's no reason not to love this holiday.
The Huffington Post Canada spoke to Chef Thierry Busset of Thierry Chocolates in Vancouver, who was born and trained in France, about what exactly makes up a macaron.
"A macaron is pretty much a meringue shell with almond inside," Thierry explains. "I think it's something that has been around for the last 100 years -- it used to be just one shell and no colour, but Pierre Hermé is one of the people who did a lot for the macaron. About 15 years ago, he started to put two shells together and the cream in the middle to make it more interesting. He also added the colour, which I think made it so popular. The base is the same for all of them: egg white, sugar, ground almond, and usually there's food colouring inside and a flavour extract."
Thierry notes that the lack of flour made macarons gluten-free long before anyone was looking for that label. In terms of favourite flavours, he finds it depends on the season: blackberry and raspberry ruled the summer, while cranberry and pumpkin were the hits of winter. Lychee is currently doing well, as is pink praline (almond coated with pink sugar around it) -- and Valentine's Day saw 3,000 macarons sold at the shop.
SEE: Since half of the appeal of macarons is in their prettiness, we've collected shots from across the world, via Twitter: