The basic ingredients of egg white, sugar and ground almond of a macaron makes it look like an easy sweet bite to bake. We can fall for their perfect round shapes, colorful different flavors and delicious fillings that patisseries offer on their shops’ windows and menus. Famous houses for macaron such as Ladurée and Pierre Hermé has taken this simple dessert enhancing its texture, combining different flavors and introducing exceptional and exotic outcomes. Not very famous in Jordan, those heavenly sweets are underestimated considering their relatively expensive prices compared to traditional desserts. The effort, talent and expertise placed in every piece of macarons explain why it takes a lot of practice to master such a simple dessert.
I was not intending to dedicate a space to talk about macarons until I ran through the social media pages of Cantine, a young venture dedicated to creating a difference in Amman’s catering environment. Since I left Amman, I kept an eye on the electronic content of the Facebook and Instagram pages of Cantine, continuously being astonished by the professionalism the content displayed and how refined the pictures posted were. I was more interested in Coco de Cantine, a sub brand for the venture that specializes in fine chocolates and macarons, since no place in Amman- apart from branded shops and well-known patisseries- mastered this art.
Tasting the best macarons around the world along with the pastry courses that was part of my culinary education at the Royal Academy of Culinary Arts enhanced my understanding of what a perfect macaron would look and taste like: a sweet buttery soft texture, yet able to hold its shape, that melts in one’s mouth, while the sweet flavors of the shell should balance the cream-based filling of the macaron. Every bite can simply be heaven! And heaven it was when I grabbed the chocolate macaron and bite into it during my visit to Amman, to meet Noor Duviri, the young 25 years old founder of Cantine.
As Jordanians, we always aim to satisfy the community and pursue an education in a medical or engineering related fields. Deviating from the ‘standard’ is a taboo in a society that is not yet open to support such creativity and constrains itself with scientific education, assuming that this is the only was to provide decent living, not to forget the ranking in the social hierarchy that individuals with such degrees gain. Noor, along with her pharmaceutical Bachelor Degree from Jordan’s University of Science and Technology decided that she would as well follow her passion in pastries. Accompanied by a passion for design and photography, Noor ran her ‘one man show’ Cantine. Her half Turkish origin exposed her to concepts and ideas that she would love to implement in Jordan, supported by a culinary education she enrolled in for a period of 2 months at MSA Istanbul in Turkey.
Adjusting world recipes to suit the ingredients available in the market, Noor explains how it was challenging to find ingredients to fit her refined product. Freshly ground almonds, fresh Arabic coffee and sugar free cream-based fillings are some of the secrets Noor shared. Cantine was born in September 2015, after finalizing all the branding, menu engineering and recipe development. “I cannot be more confident of the products I am introducing to the market, especially the fine selection offered by Coco de Cantine,” concludes Noor adding nother delicious venture to be added to the list, Amman’s is surely heading towards a culinary revolution.
*Pictures courtesy of Cantine Jordan