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Macaron vs. Macaroon: A Discussion of Confusing Food Names

Updated on December 2, 2016Lifestyle
Macaron vs. Macaroon: A Discussion of Confusing Food Names image
  • Macarons are a round dessert sandwich composed of two colored cookie halves and a ganache or buttercream filling.
  • Macaroons are drop cookies, usually made of coconut, pistachios, or almond paste.

Do you like macaroons? You might think you know the answer to this question, but you might be wrong! Macaroons are often confused with another dessert. Let’s find out which is which and straighten out some other food mix-ups while we’re at it.

Macaron Vs. Macaroon

Besides the spelling, there are two main differences between macarons and macaroons. First, macarons are pronounced mah-kah-ROHN and macaroons are pronounced mah-kah-ROON. The treats themselves are quite different. Macarons are colored almond cookie sandwiches with a buttercream or ganache filling. Macaroons are drop cookies, usually made of shredded coconut and sometimes dipped in chocolate.

Ragout vs. Ragu

In French, the verb ragouter means to stimulate the appetite. Ragout and ragu both derive from this verb, but they are totally different dishes. Ragout is a thick meat or fish stew served as a main dish. Ragu is a meat sauce usually served with pasta. Yes, the popular pasta sauce company’s product name simply means meat sauce!

Cacao vs. Cocoa

Cacao are dried seeds (beans) that come from the fruit of a cacao tree. They are roasted and ground into a powder called cocoa. This powder is often an ingredient in cakes, brownies, or a drink by the same name made by mixing cocoa powder with hot milk or water. For chocolate, cacao beans are fermented, roasted, and ground.

Remoulade vs. Roulade

The French language lends us both remoulade and roulade. To remember what a roulade is, just think of the verb roll. A piece of meat, such as a pounded chicken breast, may be rolled around a filling such as cheese or vegetables. Or if you prefer dessert, you can roll a thin cake around a sweet filling. A remoulade is an oil- or mayonnaise-based sauce flavored with mustard, capers, or various seasonings.

Desert vs. Dessert

You definitely don’t want to eat a desert. A desert is a place where rain does not often fall and little if anything grows. A dessert is a sweet treat, usually served at the end of a meal. What’s your favorite desert? Your answer should be geographical—Sahara, Gobi, etc. What’s your favorite dessert? You might answer with a cake, pie, or pudding.

Baking Soda vs. Baking Powder

If you don’t want to ruin your recipes, you should learn the difference between these two food terms. They are both leaveners. Baking soda is sodium bicarbonate. Baking powder combines baking soda with cream of tartar and corn starch. So baking powder contains baking soda, but baking soda doesn’t contain baking powder. By the way, mixing baking soda with the other ingredients of baking powder changes its chemical makeup, so you can’t substitute one for the other.

Patty vs. Pâté

A patty is any minced food that is shaped by hand into a flat disk. One of the most common patties is the hamburger patty. Though it is also made of meat, pâté is quite dissimilar to a patty. Pâté is a soft, spreadable paste made of cooked meat and fat, which has been blended smooth.

So do you like macaroons? Or is it macarons that you prefer? If you keep these food names straight, you will avoid having any mix-ups at your next visit to a restaurant.

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