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18 commonly confused foods

By: Melissa Breyer on Dec. 22, 2014, 4:41 p.m.
Macaroon versus macaron

Photo: Cedric Carter/Shutterstock | Charlotte Marillet/flickr

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Macaroon versus macaron

Macaroons, macarons. How can two such distant-cousin cookies be just a little "o" apart? As it turns out, they may look very different in appearance — shaggy versus chic — but they share a common source. Macaroons — flourless, unleavened and originally made with almond paste — come from Italy. From there, the cookie evolved in two directions. Some bakers began replacing the almond paste with coconut, creating what we know of today as the macaroon, while French court bakers developed a version with ground almonds to please the king’s Italian wife, Catherine de Medici, giving way to French macarons. And the rest is cookie history.