Archive for ‘farmers market’

August 14th, 2011

Croissant

We have a healthy Sunday morning ritual that probably came into existence to balance our not-so-healthy Saturday night tradition of eating out at our favorite restaurant like prisoners eating their last meals.  Still in our food comas when the first glimmers of Sunday morning arrive through the shutter’s slats, we do our best to linger in bed just a bit longer, before waking up and heading to the Studio City Farmers Market.  After that, our next stop is yoga class, where we attempt to use the wisdom of the East, to repent from the sin of the West, gluttony.  This week, it was even more difficult to listen to our yoga instructor preach detox, when our minds were somewhere else…namely, 50 feet away, in our car, where the Nutella croissant we bought, was sitting…waiting.

Don’t assume we go to the farmer’s market purely to indulge on baked goods.  Trust me, we buy fresh fruits and vegetables too, which is tough when you’re surrounded by kettle corn, fresh roasted peanuts, cookies and cakes.  With strong wills, we are able to avoid most temptations.  Still, there is still one vendor we must visit weekly, if nothing else, just to say hello…or more accurately, “Bonjour.”  The vendor?  Top Bakery out of Long Beach, California.  What makes Top our top choice?  Simple, buying French bread from an actual French person just adds that touch of authenticity that makes every bite just a bit better.  With a quick ‘bonjour‘, and a fresh baguette, for a brief moment, regular, ordinary, suburban Los Angeles magically transforms into cosmopolitan Paris.  While we would love to continue our French adventure by buying everything in sight, we usually show some restraint, only buying one baguette, and sometimes, just to keep it company, pain de campagne (country bread).  However on our last visit, there was one item, so awe-inspiringly decadent, we just couldn’t resist.  That bit of baked goodness was:  the Nutella croissant.

I developed an obsession for croissants when I moved to America.  Sure, we have croissants in Japan, but made to Japanese tastes, they’re just not the same. Basically, they’re too flaky (read: light), so they turn messy, breaking in pieces when you try to eat them. I would gladly sacrifice some of the flakiness for moistness, which brings me to the topic of filled croissants.  We all know that Japanese sized portions are smaller than their international peers, but sadly, that trait applies to filling as well.  Order a chocolate croissant in Japan, and you’ll be in for a non-chocolately surprise.   So when it comes to foreign-made croissants, America, the land of plenty, wins hands-down.

Waiting in the car in the summertime heat, while we stretched to the strains of our yoga instructor, our delicious croissant filled the air with its delicious aroma.  It was all we could do to wait until we made it home before ripping it apart like hunger-strikers finally ending their protest.  But, being the good fake Parisians that we are, we waited just a bit longer to make some French-pressed coffee, to go along with our chocolaty reward.

Finally, the moment of truth had arrived.  The first bite, as promised, was flaky on the outside and moist on the inside, with Nutella filling every inch.  Suddenly, my English faded, replaced by French, leaving me with only two words to describe the beautiful creation sitting in front of me — si bon!

See you next Sunday at the Top Bakery stand.