Croissant of the Gods’

Let me first start off by saying: Lack of sleep really bites. Lack of sleep and blank stares during class gets you strange stares. More or less the first four days of the week have been crazy. Rather, I’ve been crazy for a while. Homework doesn’t help when you put it off to look at food, either. Hear that, physics textbook? I SCOFF AT YOU!

I’ve actually negelected to mention I’ve been taking a ‘Pre-College Digital Photography’ course at SVA for the last month or so. 10AM to 1PM every Saturday, I get to park my butt in front of a Powermac G5. Normally, I’d enjoy this. Too bad all we’ve been doing is learning Photoshop. Unfortunately for me, that’s relearning the past 3-4 years of my life I’ve been using Photoshop with advanced techniques. And I’ve only gotten to shoot once. Great. It doesn’t help that some of the stuff we’re learning is wrong. Since when is ‘SRL’ the acronym for Single Lens Reflex? And since when does 100MB = 1GB? I wish they’d take us more seriously than this. Most of the class is comprised of very talented photographers, and it’s just not fair to them, getting the wrong technical info to start off in digital. I just wan’t to shoot.

Well, enough of that. Two weeks ago, after class, I walked into the thirty degree cold. That’s Farhenheit, people. I was rather hungry, so I decided I would go someplace close by. I whip out my PDA and load Pocket Streets (The only reason I don’t get lost). I had pins on some places I wanted to try, and City Bakery was the closest. At a brisk 5 minute’s walk, that’s not bad.

The place was PACKED. I went inside anyway (lack of discretion here) and perused the hot foods and salads. $12/pound. Expensive. At this point, I realize I had seven dollars in my wallet. Actually, I’m not in the mood for City Bakery anymore. I step outside in the cold once again, sneaking a glance at the pretzel croissants as I go.

Hm, croissants. The hampster in my head starts running on his little wheel, and I remember hearing about a place with really great croissants. Since the monkey in my head only works weekdays, I couldn’t remember until I checked the map. Yes! It was there! Patisserie Claude! Twenty minutes later, I walked through the wooden door frame with raw, red hands and frazzled hair. Sniffling from the cold, I note the three small tables, all unkempt, and three disgruntled men enjoying their coffee and pastries. And who was in the back? Claude himself, piping a batch of eclairs. He looked up for hardly a moment and gave me a slight glare. Love ya’ too, mister. :)

Not knowing entirely what I wanted, I asked the woman behind the counter what her favorite was. Quiche! Quiche and raisin twists. Quiche it was. After all, I can’t really shake that childhood dislike of mushy raisins. I secretly love them though - just don’t let my subconcious know. I had a cafe au lait as well (The only French I know, whoo!). Eagerly, I walked over to the table nearest the display case, which was filled with: cakes, cookies, and pastries - happiness and joy in baked form!

Patisserie Cluade Quiche

And so I took the supplied fork and gingerly removed a piece, and placed it into my mouth. Woah. It was really creamy (ie:Rich and fat-full) and delicious. I actually have no idea what was in the quiche. I know there was pork in it, but there was something else that I hadn’t tasted before. See the black lumps in the quiche? It was probably that. Excuse my ignorance if it was something totally ubiquitous. Once devoured, I realized that I had only gone through half of my coffee. Hm, according to my reasoning, that meant I could get another pastry! Which one would I choose? What else but their esteemed croissants!

Patisserie Cluade Croissant

These croissants are beautiful. Even before taking a bite, the croissants looked different from every other one I’ve seen. Light crusted and slightly blistered, these were a far cry from the dark-skinned eggy looking croissants in other bakeries. And the ridges? They’re so cute! They’re not like the pudgy things elsewhere. I swear I rubbed the little layers before taking that first bite. And what a first bite it was! The crisp skin gave way to a multi-layered heaven. I could have teared up and broke down into joyful tears. I resisted the urge, because the men in the shop had been watching me take pictures of pastries and I was sure they were about to call in the asylum. Monsieur Claude! You must be trying to take over the world with these croissants! But for these, the world is worth it!

I left the little shop happily stuffed with a spring in my step. Well, the springy-ness might have been the caffiene. I’m sure I gained a pound or two as well. ;)

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  1. […] But I just have to say something. Kathy should be an idol for all food bloggers. I’ve never seen anyone so profoundly and unwavering in his or her Passion for Food. Her account with the man she loves named Claude. Has really questioned my devotion to all things gastronomic. It was moving and inspiring. I am shamed. […]

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