Settled right across from each other, gourmet grocer Dean & DeLuca and macaron specialty shop Olivia Macaron both have their display cases prepped for the day of love with a rosy rainbow of macarons that would make any lover swoon.
In a time when picking out the perfect macaron is more imperative than ever, my friend Andrew, a macaron virgin, and I, a seasoned macaron-er tried to figure out which macaron is better: the gourmet grocer’s or the specialty shop.
The flavor we tried you ask? Why, red velvet, of course!
Andrew on Dean & DeLuca: “I definitely think it looked nice, the colors were there, the little specks added a nice touch to it. But, it was a little bit less circular; it was more misshapen. It was also kind of flat, at least compared to the one from Olivia Macaron.”
Andrew on Olivia Macaron: “This one was much more circular, it looked more perfect. There were fewer imperfections except for a couple bumps, but overall it was a nice looking cookie.
The macaron-er: I believe that if the smoothness and specks from Dean & DeLuca’s macaron were combined with the fluffy height of the Olivia Macaron’s one then we would have the perfect macaron. The Dean & DeLuca macaron seems to be a little too flat, but the Olivia Macaron one is pretty bumpy. Unfortunately, I don’t think there is a clear winner in this category.
Texture of the outside
Andrew on Dean & DeLuca: “It was very chewy. It wasn’t what I expected when I first bit into it. But, it had a nice, crisp outside which was very delicious, and then it just kind of fell apart; I didn’t have much to chew on besides the filling.”
Andrew on Olivia Macaron: “I could definitely taste the biscuit more here, there was much more to chew on.”
The macaron-er: The one from Olivia Macaron is much more fluffy, light and crisp, which is what I personally prefer in a macaron. Dean & DeLuca’s is much more dense and moist, taking on almost a cake-like quality, while still remaining pretty thin. This is a big contrast to the outside of the biscuit, which is very crisp. It ends up being surprisingly chewy.
Texture of the inner filling
Andrew on Dean & DeLuca: “I thought the filling was very nice, it definitely had that red velvet taste that you would expect.”
Andrew on Olivia Macaron: “The filling was much more present, it was much sweeter, more creamier. I felt like the cream here was more light and fluffy.”
The macaron-er: Due to the fluffiness of the Olivia Macaron macaron, you can taste the cream a lot more. This is because the textures of the biscuit and the filling had a greater contrast here in comparison to the Dean & DeLuca macaron, which has a denser biscuit that kind of blends into the cream. They are both sweet (’cause would it be a macaron if they weren’t?!) but the Olivia Macaron one seems to be sweeter. Since I have a major sweet tooth, Olivia’s takes this round.
Andrew’s Verdict: “While the Dean & Deluca one still tasted like red velvet, the Olivia Macaron one had flavor that was just more there.”
The macaron-er: It’s a tough call, but the red velvet flavor is more present in the airier, creamier and fluffier Olivia Macaron macaron. Maybe it’s the chewiness of the Dean & DeLuca macaron causing it to detract from the overall flavor.