The Real Reason Macarons Are So Expensive

Macarons are delightful pastries that resemble a puffed up Oreo cookie. They're typically a bit over an inch in diameter and they come in a rainbow of colors and flavors. The traditional version, however, is made with an almond meringue on the outside and a filling which could include jam or cream (via Money Inc). 

Although they are widely considered to be French, it turns out the origins of the macaron may actually be in Italy. The story goes that Catherine di Medici, a member of the Italian aristocracy who went on to marry the French King Henri II, brought a cook with her to France (via Goldenrod Pastries). It is believed that this cook from Florence brought with him the recipe for the macaron. Even the name is traced back to Italian roots, with maccherone meaning "fine dough" in Italian. 

Macarons are a tasty bite with a long history. But why do these little treats cost a fortune?

The reason behind the macaron's high price tag

The gold standard of macarons is Ladurée. They have been supplying Parisians with macarons since 1862 and have expanded from a single shop in Paris to locations worldwide including Dubai, Bangkok, and Azerbaijan (via Ladurée). Incredibly, a box of just eight macarons retails for nearly $30. 

Certainly, the idea that macarons are a Parisian luxury is one factor driving up the price. But another important component of the price is the fact that it simply takes expensive ingredients to make macarons. Almonds feature prominently in the recipe and they're among the most expensive nuts out there (via Martha Stewart). Vanilla beans are often seen in macaron recipes and they're typically pricey as well (via Birch Tree Baking). 

One final reason that macarons tend to cost so much is that they are quite difficult to make and are a time commitment. While some French pastries can be slapped together even by a beginner, macarons are "delicate and finicky" which helps to justify the price tag (via Honest Cooking).