Sun 26 Apr 2009 11:15 pm
I’ve been meaning for days to point you to this account of a most excellent blind taste test to determine the city’s best croissant. After hearing that our friends Kye and Eric had held their own croissant-off and declared a winning tie between Cafe Besalu and Honore, we decided a more elaborate rematch was in order. Eight of us gathered earlier this month with samples from seven different bakeries, and nibbled our way through each lettered entry.
I was surprised, in the end, by two things: (1) How many variations there can be in a “good” croissant, in flakiness, sweetness, richness, and crunch, and (2) How similar our opinions still were on which ones were best and worst.
The lowest score, it surprised no one to learn, was the ringer croissant thrown in from Costco. My 6-year-old was the only one who appreciated it, and he dubbed it “sweet, soft bread,” the same reason it ranked dead last for everyone with voting rights.
I felt sure I could identify the origins of just one of the entries — the one from Columbia City Bakery, which produces some of the city’s best bread. I’ve never had their croissants before, but it still had a distinct “Columbia City” taste to me. I’m even more impressed now with CC’s sense of identity.
My own favorite croissant, when the identities were revealed, turned out to be from Besalu. My notes on it called it the “classic,” perfecty crunchy, flaky, buttery, and balanced.
To see if others shared my opinion, and to see the rest of the rankings, check out the full report from Wright Eats. One commenter told the Wrights that we should have included Dahlia Bakery in the mix. Consider that if you do a croissant-off of your own… and tell us who else to include if a rematch is called.