March 20, the first day of spring, is also the Jour du macaron in France and New York City. Macarons are small desserts. Top and bottom meringue layers are sandwiched with a creamy filling. The flavors can be as prosaic as chocolate and strawberry or as exotic as passion fruit and guava. I had a delicious rose and raspberry macaron in the beautiful Ladurée tea room several years ago and I still vividly remember the feeling that I was nibbling on the heart of a flower.
Six years ago, the master pâtissier Pierre Hermé started the Jour du macaron as a way to introduce the tasty morsels to more people by giving them away for free. Now, the annual event has a charitable purpose as well. Sales on the big day are donated to a different charity each year. New York participants can be found here. Many of them will be donating a portion of their proceeds to City Harvest food bank.
Today’s expression, douceur de vivre, means “sweetness of life.” For those who are passionate about macarons, the Jour du macaron is the sweetest way possible to celebrate spring.