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The Sweet Life

お菓子って本当に不思議な食べ物です。疲れている時や、イライラしている時など、あま~いお菓子を食べるだけで気持ちが優しく、表情は笑顔になってしまいますよね。
ハイ・キャリア閲覧者のみなさんにもそんな素敵Happyな気分になっていただければと、新しいコーナーが誕生しました。
フリーランス通翻訳者としてご活躍中であり、かつお菓子作りのプロでもあるファリア・アンナ・マリエさんが、「季節のお菓子」、「地方ならではのお菓子」、「子供と一緒に作りたいお菓子」など毎月さまざまなテーマでお菓子を紹介しながら、みなさんに「Sweet」なひと時をお届けします。

第1回 Macaron Madness

Welcome to The Sweet Life! 今回このコーナーを担当せていただくことになったファリア・アンナです。まず最初にこのタイトルについてですが、最近日本では「スイーツ」という言葉をやたらと耳にするような気がしますが、実は「スイーツ」と聞く度に少々イラつきます。もちろん英語でもsweetsと言えば通じますが、単純にdessertとか言ってほしいものです。そこで、あえてThe Sweet Life というタイトルを選んだのは、英語でsweetという言葉には「甘い」という意味もあれば「かわいらしい」や「すてきな」、「優しい」など、さまざまな意味があるからです。これから毎月、皆さんと一緒にいろいろな意味での"sweet"を探っていきたいと思います。Let the sweet times begin!

"I've always dreamed of opening a bakery / café/ cake shop (insert some small food-related business here)," people always say when they hear I opened a small pastry shop in New York. "If only you knew...," I often think when I hear this, and I'd like to take a moment to tell you a little bit about how the macaron madness began.

I was five when I made my first batch of baked goods, naturally scones, since we were in England at the time! I have always loved to bake, and continued to love it through elementary school, middle school, high school, and college, but it was after graduating from college that it started to become a serious obsession. When I moved back to Japan after graduation on a scholarship to study Japanese literature, I began studying French pastries once a month with Yasuko Akaba, an enormously talented pastry chef, with whom I continue to study today. Many of the cakes I would later sell in my store started with her, and I credit her for my love of desserts that are "not too sweet", a very Japanese attribute that Americans find bizarre!

After my stint in Japan, I went back to the US to start a doctoral program in Japanese literature at Princeton, and I would often bake something to take to our weekly graduate school seminars. It got to the point that a scholar came to give a talk, and he knew what every graduate student was specializing in, but when he got to me, he exclaimed, "Oh, you're the one who bakes!" I happened to specialize in Natsume Soseki and English gothic novels...

Upon finishing my Ph.D., I decided to follow my sweet tooth to France, and it was there that I had my fateful encounter with macarons. It was actually a happy accident, as I had happened to hear about the opportunity to intern with Pierre Herme, and the only available slot was macarons. To be perfectly honest, macarons are not my favorite dessert, but I muddled through with my atrocious French (it would often take me 10 minutes to formulate a question, by which time the moment had passed!), and came away with the idea that macarons might be perfect for New York, where my husband and I were headed next.

When we moved to New York City in early 2008, macarons were nowhere to be found in most of the US, and only at a few select shops in Manhattan. Seeing an opportunity for a mail order business, I set up an online store, and Little Oven was born! It was definitely a learning experience, as I played it all by ear, never really having worked for an extended period of time in a commercial kitchen. At one point during the Christmas rush, I had five people in the kitchen filling macarons and packaging, as we tried to bake using two home ovens that could only bake 18 macarons at a time. Considering that we needed to bake 1000 macarons per day, it was a daunting task. On days like this, I would jump out of bed at 5am saying "passion fruit" or "pistachio" or whatever macaron flavor had haunted my dreams the night before.

In 2011, I was finally able to open my own little store in Long Island City, New York, and the first thing I did was to buy an oven that could bake 200 macarons at a time! It was truly a tiny store, but a labor of love. I was also pregnant at the time, so there were endless comments about a "bun in the oven at Little Oven".

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There are countless stories to tell about the adventures of Little Oven, and perhaps they will make an appearance in this column in coming months. From seasonal dessert recipes to sweet treats for tots, this column will be dedicated to all things sweet!
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The Sweet Life


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ファリア・アンナ・マリエ

ファリア・アンナ・マリエさん
日本生まれ。アメリカンスクールを経て、米プリンストン大学英文科に進学。大学卒業後翻訳の仕事を開始し、大学院在学中に通訳デビューを果たす。学業と仕事を両立しながら、趣味であったお菓子作りへの興味を深め、博士課程修了後に「ピエール・エルメ」にスタージュとして参加するため渡仏。その後「リッツ・カールトン」の製菓学校でフランス菓子作りを本格的に学ぶ。半年後には日本に帰国。しかし4か月後にはNYに渡り、念願であったマカロン専門店を出店。出産を機に日本に帰国。現在はフリーランス通翻訳者として活躍しながら1歳の女の子の育児に熱心な良きママでもある。