The thought of combining food and performance art may make your stomach turn. Who knows what nastiness could unfold? But if you’re a macaron fan, you may like Marina Abramović’s latest performance art. Oh, and also, you should probably be a Marina Abramović fan, too, because it involves eating macarons that literally taste like the Yugoslavian artist. Eater reports that for Marina Abramović’s Taste, the artist worked with Ladurée and NYC-based culinary design studio Kreëmart to create three macarons that are designed to taste like, well, Abramović herself—or at least her memories.
But how do you make something taste like a memory? Abramović told the AFP that the official Marina macaron tastes like "my grandmother, early morning, making coffee,” which leads the taster to a host of her own precious memories:
"Then I remember the smells of fresh basil, thyme, cardamom seeds, and exotic smells from the trips I took later on and remember exploring volcanoes and waterfalls and remember this feeling in the early morning when I see the line of the sea just meet the ocean, and ocean meet the sky."
That’s some impressive flavoring. The macarons' heavy price tag—about $100 USD for a box of three cookies—are in part because of the design. Made from an almond meringue base, the cookies are dyed Prussian blue and painted with edible gold leaf before being stamped with the family's coat of arms (which the AFP reports “represent[s] the balance between fragility and strength”) and placed in a classy triangular box. Even the shape of the box has meaning, as it references freemasonry, which symbolizes "energy and power." Who knew macarons could be so deep?
The project is the first in a series by Ladurée and Krëemart called "Pastry Portrait," and they determined the flavoring with the "Papillae Questionnaire," which the AFP reports is "used to determine what concepts should be translated to flavors."
“When I said I wanted to have my own taste, they asked me so many questions,” Abramović told the AFP. “[W]hat I like, the colors, the smells, the landscapes in nature, the memories of childhood...all of this went into the Pastry Portrait of me.”
Sometimes, a cookie is just a cookie. But when you’re Marina Abramović, a cookie can be—and is—art.