Best Macaroon - 2008
Italian French Baking Co.
The essence of the macaroon is its dense, pleasantly coarse texture, a gustatory earthiness achieved by forsaking the affectations of finely milled flour for pestled almonds or hazelnuts or some other palatable pseudostarch. Barely leavened with sugar and egg white and baked in a slow oven, it's one deceptively simple übercookie. At the Italian French Bakery in North Beach, the macaroon attains a lush majesty that belies its prosaic ingredients. Here the filler of choice is flaky coconut meat, and the sweet, tropical pleasures of the flesh combined with a blissfully excessive cloak of rich, dark bittersweet chocolate result in a thick and chewy confection that maintains its moist freshness for the three or four days it takes to consume the thing.