“Butter Flavored Cotton Candy”

Growing up I was an obscenely picky eater. I don’t know how my parents didn’t drown me in the sink when I refused to eat even the basics – like pasta with butter and olive oil.

What I did eat, I ate in great quantities, most notably bread, fruit, and chicken. As a growing boy, a sensible breakfast to me was four pieces of white toast, slathered in butter.

With age, comes wisdom, and more noticeably, a slowing of the metabolism. Bread is now a sacred and simultaneously dirty word in our household. Something not to be taken lightly, for a meal with bread is a meal to be savored.

When I do indulge in bread with breakfast, I almost always prefer a thick piece of sourdough. Jam is the poor man’s fruit, so jam be damned. It’s butter or bust, baby.

Bagels are eaten on rare occasions and are always acquired at a deli or Jewish bakery. My girlfriend loves to lord her New York bagel snobbery over me. Since I’ve never had a New York bagel, the ones in California taste just fine.

I almost never order an English muffin (unless it’s a serving tray for eggs benedict), and I try to only get biscuits if I’m in the South.

Which leaves us with the final option for breakfast bread – a croissant.

One evening, my girlfriend and I were discussing cooking, and she brought up Julia Child. I had never seen the cooking guru, so we immediately began watching old French Chef videos, and one of them was the croissant episode.

Holy moly, J.C. is liberal with butter. I love watching her throw around dough (10:55 in the video) and mutter her bizarre (and iconic) kitchen phrases.

I felt very conflicted watching Julia zoom around the kitchen because I didn’t see any practical use for croissants. Yes, they’re delicious, but that’s because butter is delicious.

Croissants themselves are flaky and get crumbs everywhere. I feel like I leave half my meal on my shirt whenever I eat one. They’re not filling, because they’re so airy, resulting in me wanting to eat three more. Finally, they’re terrible vehicles for sandwich ingredients, due to their flimsiness.

Order a croissant sandwich, and after the first bite, you’ll just have all the ingredients in a chaotic display on your plate.

If you’re getting croissants fresh from a bakery, I’m talking hot out of the oven, then that’s a different story. When we were in Iceland, we visited a bakery in Reykjavik four days in a row after tasting their fresh croissants and cinnamon rolls.

However, it’s not common that one is eating a fresh croissant, still steaming from the oven. More often, they’re gobbled in coffee shops and in business meetings. They’re cold, hard, and inevitably leave incriminating evidence on your clothes.

My love of Julia Child and the memories I made in Iceland boost croissant’s ratings, but not by much. If you’re going to spend precious carbs on bread during breakfast, do yourself a favor and choose an option that fulfills your appetite, not one that leaves you full of regret and buttery sadness.

Croissants – 2 out of 5 Stars  

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