Never in my almost fifty years have I ever eaten a macaron. I haven’t even seen one in person. Yet, whenever I come across a photo of these colorful confections, I get a strong urge to learn how to make them. I honestly don’t know why.
It’s just plain weird.
I blame the internet. The rise of food blogs began a decade or so ago and with that came the trend in food styling and food photography. I love, love, love food photography, particularly baked goods and anything chocolate. That’s when my fixation on macarons started. At one point, they were all the rage and every popular food blogger was either making them or talking about them.
An even weirder thing about my obsession is that macarons are supposed to be meringue-type cookies and I don’t like meringue. At least I don’t think I do. My only exposure to meringue that I’m aware of is the lemon meringue pie my mother used to make when I was a kid. I absolutely hated that pie and because of that I’ve never tried anything having to do with meringue ever since.
There’s something so inviting about these little cookies, though. Perhaps it’s their bright, happy colors, or maybe the variety of fillings sandwiched in between the macarons that appeals to me. Whatever it is I’m drawn to them like ants to sugar.
The protagonist in the story I’m working on is a chef who’s not quite sure what her purpose in life is. I haven’t worked out all the details yet, but I know baking is going to play some role in her life. As I delve deeper into her story, baking will likely play some kind of role in my life as well.
This worries me.
Baked goods are just too dangerous for me. Besides cursing, sugar is my vice of choice these days and it shows on the scale. But experiencing life is an important part of the writing life. If you want to make your characters as realistic as possible, you gotta do your research.
Perhaps, in the very near future, I’ll succumb to my obsession by finally making a batch of macarons. All in the name of research, of course.