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Thoothukudi macarons are pointed and tapering, filled with chopped cashews

Macarons are internationally known for their pretty colours, light texture, and almost impossible to perfect technique. They are incredibly expensive because of how much effort goes into making them. To make a perfect batch of macarons, apart from being able to intelligently regulate the quantity of ingredients, it is also important to be able to understand the weather. Humidity can kill the macaron, and perhaps this is why, only certain places see success when it comes to marketing them.

Originally French, the macaron has been appropriated and indianised at Thoothukudi. Their macaron is somewhat similar in texture and process, but greatly different when it comes to taste and flavour. When the French had their base in Tamil Nadu during the initial years of exploration, macarons became something that could be made well in this place because of the weather.


Original French macarons are smoother and made from almond meal or coconut Image source: wikipedia

Thoothudi macarons are special because they do not use the regular almond or coconut base. They use the indigenous cashew instead. Ideally, to get the smooth texture on the sugary sweet, the batter must be fine and smooth. Here, after they make the egg meringue, they throw in chunks of chopped cashews which sit at the bottom of the macaron while it bakes.

The shape of the macaron is slightly like the north Indian samosa. It is roundish at the bottom, and tapering towards the top, ending in a stiff peak. This shape allows for bite-sized pleasure when one tastes the macaron.

Many people have tried to make this particular variety of macaron outside Thoothukudi, but haven't been able to because it doesn't come out the same way in anything but a clay oven. When tried outside the city, the humidity levels interfered with the nice puff that it is known for. So Thoothukudi remains the bastion of cashew macarons, and attracts large crowds who patronise it. It cannot be exported because it absorbs moisture when exposed to air, and has a relatively short life span.

Keywords: Macarons, Thoothukudi, Tamil Nadu, French, Cashew, Sweets


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