Thursday, October 10, 2013

la baguette et l'echalote, a little bit of paris in granville

Cronut = Croissant + Donut
Cronut = Sacrilege

But I'm essentially a traditionalist, so there's no surprise there. A croissant should be just that. Likewise a donut. To combine the two into one monstrous being?? Err.... I don't think so.

My love affair with the buttery croissants started long ago. But I had my first authentic Parisian croissant where else but in Paris. There is little else more Parisian than croissants. Its affinity for this pastry is apparent in the number of boulangeries that proliferate in every corner of the city.

So, what would you call the "ultimate" croissant? The short answer is, there isn't one. A 1990 NY Times article describe it as such,
Some like croissants that shatter into a thousand transluscent flakes at first bite and fill the mouth with the essence of butter, a touch of sweetness and the slightest hint of yeast. Others prefer rolls that, while still crisp and multilayered, are more breadlike with a satisfying yeasty flavor. Yet others actually like croissants made with margarine, though they are the vocal minority. All seem to agree that those so heavy and gummy they lie limp and flaccid on the tongue, or so light they have no flavor or texture to enjoy are despicable representations.
The last time I had my "ultimate" version of croissant was in said Paris -- Montmartre to be exact. In a late afternoon walk, when the air was still frozen from the winter's last breath, the distant warm light of Boulangerie Ravignan was inviting me to come in. Theirs were flaky, buttery and with the slightest touch of sweetness.

It would be two long years before I would encounter such flaky pastry again. This time it was in Canada at a bakery created by a french trained chef and a french canadian. The first sentence of the article above described this bakery's croissant to a tee, a description that I cannot improve upon.

Butter croissant - $2.69

One could only hope the next encounter wouldn't be as protracted as the last.

La Baguette et l'Echalote on Urbanspoon
La Baguette et l'Echalote
Granville Island
1680 Johnston St

It is unfortunate that a fire damage has rendered the Granville Island bakery shop closed. But, fortunately their baked goods will still be made available at the Public Market in the island.
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