The forbidden fruit is twice as sweet.
Some of you may know that currently we are in the midst of Passover. And that means for those who are observing the holiday, the classic croissant at Mrs. London's is entirely off limits.
But it sure is gorgeous isn't it.
Regardless of if you can wait until the holiday is over or not, this amazing amalgamation of flour and butter can be found at what some have postulated is the "most fabulous bakeshop" in America. Their ability to achieve such stunning results on this classic French pastry is just one reason why Mrs. London's gets my vote for the best bakery in the Capital Region.
Still, I'm amazed at how many people stare blankly at me when I tell them about a place up in Saratoga Springs called Mrs. London's. Many have never heard of it, and others have just never been. Unless you suffer from Celiac disease or have severe gluten intolerance, this is totally inexcusable.
It's sad what passes for a croissant these days, and it's great to find one bakery that is holding the line.
There's no getting around the fact that croissants aren't good for you. They are full of refined white flour and fat. Sure, some people might eat them every day, and I envy those people more than they will ever know. But for most of us, croissants are a sometimes treat.
As such, when you have one, it should be special. And to qualify as such they have to deliver on three fronts: taste, texture and appearance.
What does a good croissant look like? Well for starters, it's small. Plus, the outside is well burnished and hints at the multitude of light and fluffy layers that are inside. Despite being small, a good croissant will have some height to it, given how much air is contained within.
Biting into a croissant should send shards of the exterior crust flying. Even though a croissant is baked, the edges of a well-made one suggest that perhaps it was fried in butter -- they are beyond crisp; they crackle. The interior should both easily coalesce under your bite, but then spring right back up into its original shape.
And the taste is all butter.
Mrs. London delivers the goods. And all of that pleasure comes at the paltry sum of $2.75. For anyone who has ever tried to make one of these from scratch, the value of such an exchange is self-evident. Making good croissants is hard. It takes a lot of butter, time, and skill to make them well. And this is a pittance to pay for something so delicious. Plus you get to enjoy them in a precious setting, at a table and on a proper plate.
Mrs. London's also makes a very special hot chocolate, which is the natural accompaniment to a classic croissant.
Yes, it's totally decadent. But that is exactly the point.
Daniel B. is the proprietor of the FUSSYlittleBLOG.
Saratoga Springs, NY 12866
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