Lengthy earlier than daybreak, the day’s batch of macaroons is getting began at Oakland establishment Grand Bakery, a Jewish bakery that’s been in operation for 61 years. Baker Epifanio Garcia combines egg whites and sugar in a double boiler and units it to low. Over the following 5 hours, the sugar dissolves into the egg whites, turning into an amber-colored slurry that steadily fills the air with the intoxicating scent of caramel.

The bakery’s crew will repeat this course of again and again within the days main as much as Passover, turning out 15,000 cookies earlier than closing for eight days in observance of the vacation.

Passover — which begins this yr on March 27 and ends April 4 — is widely known by consuming solely unleavened meals. In response to the Outdated Testomony, the Israelites left Egypt in such a rush that they didn’t have time to let their bread rise. So that they omitted the yeast and baked on rocks to kind flat crackers: matzos, which play a central function within the seder feast.

However for a lot of, it’s macaroons which can be the star of the meal — and never simply any macaroon.

Grand Bakery has a built-in following for its coconut macaroons. The recipe’s origins are a thriller. Proprietor Sam Tobis inherited the recipe when he took over the bakery in 2017 and transformed it to a wholesale enterprise (supply and pickup obtainable). Garcia has been making them for 20 years, however they’ve been round longer than that.

Baker Epifanio Garcia prepares macaroons for baking at Grand Bakery in Oakland. Garcia has been baking the recipe for twenty years.

Jessica Christian / The Chronicle

Macaroons — to not be confused with macarons, a fragile almond-based sandwich cookie — could be made with coconut or almonds. Grand Bakery makes each, however the coconut model is an hours-long course of.

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