When you eat (roughly) one croissant per week you get a good idea about the different kinds that are out there. I’ve tasted the good, the bad and the sad. I’ve eaten ones that have made me sing with joy (only sometimes literally) and others that have made me question why I actually like croissants. It’s a little strange to think about how much I know about croissants simply from eating them.
Despite the amount I’ve consumed, I still get excited each time I try a new one. There’s the flutter of excitement that this could be it. It never is because there will never be a croissant that reaches a pinnacle of perfection for me. Luckily, I’ve yet to find a croissant that has been completely inedible. Though the one from Costa came pretty close; it did need some gianduia to make it edible.
When I get a croissant in New York, however, I rarely worry about the quality. I know where to get information on which cafes and patisseries sell the good stuff and which ones are completely overrated. That’s not to say that the croissants of my youth exactly paved the way to my current laminated pastry loving nature. I actually ate some pretty blah ones (Sweet Melissa, here’s looking at you!).
La Bergamote wasn’t a winner, but it was certainly one of the better croissants I’ve had. The patisserie is a large space with many glass counters filled with gorgeous French style pastries. While cafes generally tend to emit a fake frenchy atmosphere or just go for modern, La Bergamote felt properly French. It was dark and cozy. We sat at a window, had our croissants brought to us with glasses of water and watched people pass by. They won major points for a proper sit down service.
It was a rainy and humid day. We were a bit wet and very glad to be sitting inside, dry and cozy. It may not have made brilliant croissant eating weather, but it defintely was perfect for watching the world through a window.
As soon as the waitress placed my croissant in front of me, I could tell that I was going to be slightly disappointed. It was dull and crackly, it looked like it might taste like stale cardboard; it looked dry. When I (finally) took my first bite, I was delighted to find that there wasn’t any staleness there. Yes, it was dry, but it tasted better than I expected. There was butter, that’s always been the major hurdle to pass in my croissant adventures.
Then, I realized after the third or fourth bite, that it was sweet. I mean really sweet. It tasted almost as if there was powdered sugar on top of the pastry. There wasn’t. As I nibbled and pulled apart the layers, I tried to place my finger on what made this croissant taste so familiar.
I still haven’t figured it out, but I think it might be a fresh version of the croissant I had from Clifton Cakes. With the powdered sugar.
Sure, this may not have been IT, or even a return visit it, but my experience was delightful. Sitting down, eating one of my favorite foods while looking out a gorgeous window in a lovely patisserie? Well, it’s one of the reasons that I love croissants so much. The experience has a taste that no food can match.
Do you find that you enjoy the experience of eating certain foods more so than the actual meal itself?