Pret A Manger and chemical croissants

I normally don’t worry about my croissant intake (though there was one week when I think I had a croissant ever single day…).  They are my special fantabulous breakfast food that I eat on the weekends.  Preferrably with a cappuccino, but failing that a cup of tea.

This croissant, coupled with the waxy one from last week, has, however, made me begin to worry.  No, not because I think I am eating too many, but rather because I’m uncertain as to what these croissants are made of.

At home my croissant heirarchy follows the pattern of Almondine, Ceci-Cela, Petrossian, Patisserie Claude and so on and so forth.  Don’t worry, I’m working on eating my way around New York’s croissant scene.  I’ve never had a single doubt that these are made from anything other than butter, yeast, flour and a hint of sugar.  They taste good, they smell of butter and the texture is reminiscent of those ingredients.

Pret A Manger’s croissant, however, seemed to be something that belonged in a Chemistry classroom.  Yes, it is slightly crushed in the photo, I put it in my bag on the walk home and it arrived a bit flat.

Let’s take that as exhibit A.  The outside broke off into some impossibly thin shards during the journey.  They didn’t so much taste, as they dissolved in your mouth.  The croissant looks to be a pleasing, dark nearly burnt color, yet there was none of the remarkable butter induced crispness that I want.

That’s just it, the outside was okay, light and flaky, but the taste and mouth texture simply weren’t right.  The croissant was greasy without being buttery.  Not good.

Inside was a hot mess.  One bite would cause the outside to fly into small little shards, while the inside sat there like a pile of goo not wanting to move.  Could they be underbaked?  No, they appeared cooked through.  Upon sniffing, I realized that there was no butter aroma that marks a good croissant.  There wasn’t any aroma at all.

What went into this croissant?  Well, Pret’s website won’t tell me.  A bit discouraging, really.  I’m near certain however that it wasn’t the same thing I put into my croissants.  My guess?  Vegetable oil or Flora.

Frankly, I’d say you’re better off with some freezer croissants than this one.

What do you think about buying packaged foods?  Are you okay with the idea or does it freak you out? 


6 thoughts on “Pret A Manger and chemical croissants

  1. Valerie

    First of all I think it’s great that you’re partaking in a croissant crusade! 😀
    As far as frozen vs. fresh, of course fresh is always best. After making my own (a tedious, but fun process), I don’t think I’ll go back to pre-fab croissants. Of course bakeries make excellent plan B’s! 🙂

    1. Emilia Post author

      Ha ha, love the idea of croissant crusade! I definitely agree on homemade croissants being first choice, though the process is, unfortunately, a bit prohibitive to do all the time (not to mention, I don’t really need a whole batch of croissants lying around). Unfortunately, I fear that most of the croissants I have found on my journey taste more like their frozen counterparts than homemade ones…maybe that just means I need to make some soon 😉

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  4. Jonathan C.

    Hi Emilia,
    Just found your lovely blog via google for Pret’s artificially-made-nice-looking croissants. I too agree on your evaluation and will never ever again be tricked into buying that abomination of a croissant again. Mind you, I have MS so my body’s inflammation receptors were highly sensitive to the horrible chemicals in these croissants. I originally thought it was just me.
    Thanks for your thoughts!


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