Liberté, Egalité, Crème Brûlée
I'm actually really disappointed by the number of bad croissants there are around Paris. For the capital city of a country that has such pride on the quality of its food, I'm surprised how the bad boulangeries are still in business.
The French have a sort of 'quality-control-check' process in place that a friend pointed out to me recently.
If you're an observant type of person, you may well already have seen / known this, but I hadn't and I can't believe I'm the only person who didn't know so here goes:
On the outside of a shop that sells croissants for instance, the words "Boulanger Patisserie" which are often written are not there to tell the unwitting passer-by what they can find inside. No, they actually correspond to the qualifications obtained by the chef(s) working in the establishment.
This goes some way to explain why Number 12 was so bad, cos actually they didn't have the letters explicitly written out and that means that they could be selling croissants that had been frozen or made somewhere else and shipped in.
So with this piece of information fresh in my mind, I headed off to a boulangerie in the 18th to check it out.
Rather depressingly, this was another distinctly average croissant. There was nothing special about it, nothing that made me think 'wow, this is good - I need to write about it.' Nope, there was nothing to say about it at all.
N.B. Just because a croissant-selling-establishment doesn't have the qualifications spelt out, it doesn't necessarily mean the croissant will be bad. I've heard great things said about the croissants from Monoprix for example, but they don't have the "title." Equally there will be some "Boulangerie Patisserie"s where the croissants will be average-going-on-bad even despite the training of the chef. That's just the life of a croissant in Paris and my Croissant Competition will carry on!
"Chez Henri Pierre"