A Harte Appetite: One Letter Does Make a Difference

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Recently the leader of the choir in a small church learned firsthand how much difference one letter in a word can make when he spotted in the church bulletin this notice: "The choir director invites any members of the congregation who enjoy sinning to join the choir." In the culinary world one letter can also make a big difference. Take, for example, the distinction between macaroon and macaron . Though identical words except for one extra letter "o," the confections they refer to couldn't be more dissimilar. The word "macaroon," with the double "o," denotes a humble, rustic cookie consisting of a chewy mass of sweetened coconut held together with egg whites, or sometimes condensed milk, and lightly browned in the oven. A macaron , with just one "o," on the other hand, is at the opposite end of the culinary continuum. It consists of two dainty, feather-light discs of baked meringue, made with ground almonds, not coconut, and stuck together with ganache or jam and, some maintain, a

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