I was planning my petit dej even the night before my birthday. But I was at a loss for what to treat myself to. On one hand there was the deliciously decadant croissant which was a buttery bready heaven, on the other hand there was its cousin the equally marvelous pain au chocolat. They are essentially the same thing if you think about it sauf que one has a bar of chocolate stuck in the middle of it. Nonetheless it drove me insane. Would it be better to opt for the simpler wholesome pleasure, or the one with chocolate. I chose the pain au chocolat after much consideration, and here’s why.
I have a bit of a disorder if you wish with the way I eat. It is so strange in fact that I do not enjoy eating with strangers in fear of them feeling awkward and embaressed because of my eating habits. However although they are embaressing, they are (everyone must admit) very officient. Now I will attempt to describe what said “disorder/gift/ritual” is.
I will use a dish I was served in the Dordogne as an example. I was at a beautiful little restaurant in the heart of the foie gras region excited for my entree. I was served a generous slab of foie gras with a crustada, a red berry coulis, Monbazillac jelly and dried Sumac to garnish. Now normally a gourmand would eat the bread with the foie gras with trading off between the toppings. I however must try every combination on the plate no matter how tedious; foie gras and coulis, foie gras coulis and bread, Monbazillac jelly and coulis, foie gras and bread, Monbazillac jelly on bread…etc. This makes for a very long but very efficient and enjoyable meal which ends in me knowing how all the combinations are and which is the perfect combination. And yes, I do this with every single meal that I eat. For most people this is exhausting.
So although the croissant is amazing and allows for much experimentation with different toppings, I chose a combination that was already put together for me and destined to be wonderful.
Luckily I have the best bakery in all of the Paris region right next to my house. It does not have a famous name, or a well known baker but I have tested other bread from all the well known bakeries in Paris and this one beats them all. To treat myself I decided to pop my pastry into the oven so the chocolat inside would be perfectly gooey and warm. I admittedly forgot about it for a bit, so the result was a bit bruleed. But there is nothing better than burnt butter.
And nothing goes with a warm sweet pastry better than an expresso.