I had my first macaroon back in 2009, and I'll admit I had no idea what they were before then. Also, I had a real macaroon, at a real macaroon shop in France. I had to see it to believe it, because with my limited French and a broken English attempt at explaining 'ze leetle colour candies' filled with creamy mousse, one had to taste it to believe it.
Since then macaroons have been popularised by Blair Waldorf in Gossip Girl, who eats them when she's feeling bratty. And of course, every female blogger from here to Seoul seems to have developed a penchant for these delightful meringue confections, and blogs about them too.