Olivia Macaron offers spectacular flavors of macarons based on a potato protein.
When we heard that Georgetown’s famous macaron shop, Olivia Macaron, was introducing new vegan macarons, we immediately went over to sample them, and we were not disappointed. From a sinfully decadent chocolate cherry vegan macaron to a light, sweet mango-passionfruit vegan macaron, each one is better than the last. We interviewed founder Ana Claudia Lopez to find out why and how these delectable treats were devised, how often the flavors will be changing, and how you can sample them if you don’t live in D.C.
District Fray: What led you to introduce vegan macarons at Olivia Macaron?
Ana Claudia Lopez: We have always wanted to introduce vegan macarons, first, in order be inclusive. We want those who are allergic to eggs, lactose intolerant and vegan to be able to enjoy our delicious macarons. Second, we developed these to satisfy a constant demand for vegan versions of our confections. Over the years, we have had so many customers contact us to ask for vegan macarons, including numerous brides who wanted to include vegan macarons at their weddings. So, we decided that this year, which marks the 10-year anniversary of Olivia Macaron, we would introduce vegan macarons.
Was the process difficult to create vegan versions of your originals?
Yes. Macarons are a meringue-based cookie so it was quite challenging to figure out how to make them without egg whites. Chef Mark Courseille, former executive chef and pastry chef of the French Embassy, tested a variety of products including aquafaba, but ultimately found that potato protein worked best for creating a macron with just the right texture, not too soft but also not too crispy, not too fragile and with no aftertaste. Even I can’t tell the difference between the vegan ones and the non-vegan ones!
How do you choose your flavors for the vegan macarons? How often will the flavors change?
We have a wide selection of flavors in general, and will be regularly offering at least four vegan flavors. The raspberry is the classic flavor, which will always be available. And from there, we will continue to experiment and add more vegan options. There are so many great vegan ingredients available now. We have been able to create a delicious coconut chocolate vegan macaron, a dark chocolate one and other fruit-infused ones. We now offer vegan gift boxes as well, which mirror our non-vegan gift boxes that we sell during holidays like Mother’s Day, Easter and Christmas.
How has the reception been to the vegan macarons?
The feedback has been fantastic and the sales suggest that the vegan options are very popular — some days we even sell out.
Where can one buy them?
The vegan flavors are available at both our Georgetown flagship location and our kiosk in Tysons Corner Center. We also offer nationwide shipping, available through the Olivia Macaron website.
Are you introducing any other new products at this time?
We just introduced puppy macarons for your furry friends. They look like regular macaroons and avoid ingredients like chocolate that are bad for dogs. And yes, so far they have been very popular with our doggy patrons.
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