Ode to a Croissant
ELV loves him his croissants.
He loves them so much that, back in 2005, he was inspired to do a commentary on this most elegant of crescent rolls on KNPR (after having eaten the best he’s ever had from a little patisserie outside of the Gare du Nord in Gay* Paree), which you can access by clicking here, if you want to hear him opine and wax eloquently in the stentorian, sensual, sensational, sententious, and senatorial tones for which he was known.
The above tasty snap was taken a week ago at Balthazar in New York City.
Although using a picture to convey taste is difficult to impossible at best, we think this croissant cross-section does about the best job a two dimension representation can. In it, you can see all the flaky, crispy, moist and tender butteriness, and practically taste the meltingly rich essence of baked flour, water and butter that makes such perfection.
It is the perfect breakfast food and probably the most sensual cooked food in the world — if you consider the ratio of lip-smacking reward to the tiny number of ingredients being used.
For some reason, croissants never taste quite as good in the High Mojave Desert as they do in New York or Paris. It can’t be the flour or butter (since top flight patissiers and bakers use the same ingredients), so all we can ascribe it to is our altitude (almost a half mile above sea level), the dryness of the air, and our ultra hard water.
The best ones in Las Vegas are found at Payard, Bouchon, Bonjour Bakery and Manon (in that order), and as good as they are, the element that’s always missing is the perfect confluence of crispy and moist, richness and light, ending with a long buttery finish. The whole being (much) greater than the sum of its (very few) parts, if you will.
* As in: convivial, festive and full of mirth.