1: Beny’s Delice

Bennys Delice-Macarons-Subway Entrance-BDFM-Rockefeller Center-Diamond District-47th Street-Avenue of the Americas-NYC-2

One of our favorite things are the odds and ends you can get in a New York City subway station entrance–from shoe shines to haircuts, flowers and library books. Luxury is becoming no stranger to this mix, and the latest addition is a macaron shop. Located down the subway entrance of the Rockefeller Center B/D/F/M on Avenue of the Americas and 47th Street in front of the 47th Street Diamond Exchange, you will find Beny’s Delice.

The outpost carries more than a dozen macaron flavors that change weekly and they bake everything themselves. It’s owned by Aaron Elbaz. And though a macaron is not actually “French for pleasure,” by definition as the shop windows state, we think the French would appreciate the subtlety of the humor, American style.

Originated in Italy by monks in 791 AD (though some are not sure), the macaron consists of egg whites, almond flour and sugar, which are piped into disks, baked, and sandwiched around a layer of buttercream, jam or ganache. These delicate treats supposedly made their way to France in 1533 when King Henri II married Catherine de Medici, who just couldn’t bear to leave her Italian chefs behind. But it wasn’t until the 1830s when the layer of cream was added in the middle.

In Korea, macarons are often flavored with green tea powder or leaves; in Switzerland they are much lighter and referred to as the “Luxumbergerli”; in Japan they are sometimes made “wagashi” style with sugar and rice; in the French city of Amiens, they are small round biscuits made from almond paste (similar to marzipan), fruit and honey; and in the States, the “macaroon”, coconut balls dipped in chocolate, are more popular. Traditional French flavors include vanilla, chocolate, pistachio, coffee and raspberry.

Check out a map of all the macaron shops offering free macarons on Macaron Day 2015. For more information on Macaron Day and its participants, visit macarondaynyc.com.