UPDATE APRIL 2009: Jennies Macaroons made some changes on their packaging to reflect new FDA rules. It now says :"peanut-free facility" & indicates that coconut is now considered a tree-nut by the FDA.
Jennies Macaroons sent me some samples of their product to try.
An all-natural product, made with only 3 ingredients and gluten-free, I was looking forward to tasting. Also, it had been so long since coconut was in my diet, I wanted to add it back in, safely. (This is why I went through coconut boot camp and ended up just fine.)
I had a total Proustian moment when I took a nibble of the Jennies Macaroons. Sweet, soft, moist and very coconutty, I was transported to my grandmother’s house in Brooklyn. Happy memories of holidays, being with family, a connection to my Jewish heritage.
Ah macaroon, welcome back into this Allergic Girl’s world; I've missed you.
If you aren’t familiar with the macaroon, coconut, chocolate and almond macaroons with a coconut base are a typical eastern European Ashkenazi Jewish treat, especially around Passover. These Jewish macaroons are often found in your local grocer around Passover in the special foods section, Manischewitz makes them as well.
However, these macaroon’s shouldn't be confused with the French macaron (a sandwich cookie) although from what I’ve read the have a common origin. So interesting.
So does any of this sound temping? I hope so, because these macaroons are yummy and better yet, Jennies Macaroons are NUT FREE.
“Made from only three ingredients—coconut, honey and egg whites—all Jennies products are Kosher Parve, Perfect Weight America approved, free of soy, wheat, sulfites, dairy, trans fats and gluten, nuts and yeast, and are manufactured in a gluten, peanut and tree nut free factory. They have no preservatives, sulfites or fillers and are the #1 selling macaroon in the natural food market.”
What? How? Huh? How does a company that makes almond macaroons have a almond-free facility?
This is what Lisa, VP of Sales at Jennies Macaroons told me: “Jennies is a peanut-free and almond-free facility. The almond macaroons do not have almonds in them; rather they are flavored with an almond extract. The almond flavoring does not contain any actual almond or any other nut. It is a taste which comes from apricot pits.”
Still confused? Often almond extract is made from stone fruit pits since they have the same botanical origin.
Any questions, feel free to contact Jennies Macaroons.
Any other questions about your specific allergy needs, ask your board certified allergist/internist.