As you know I, Zoé, spent my whole childhood in the South of France and if I had to choose one thing in which my country excels, it would definitely be the croissant. This worldwide famous pastry is not just a cliché but also the classic childhood memory of almost every French kid. Croissant, chocolatine*, pain au raisin: I loved them all. My favourite moment to enjoy these treats was le goûter. This is the moment when grandparents pick their grandchildren up from school with a little paper bag full of treasures, the time to calm down and enjoy sweet things sitting in a park or back at home. I would dip my pastry into hot chocolate and let all the crumbs fall all over me.
The end of the croissant
Then I became a young adult. A poor student. I exclusively fed myself with cheap stuff, like noodles and… noodles. No money for croissant. Three years later I left Toulouse for Berlin and became vegan. A vegan croissant wasn’t easy to find and not so good anyways. No offense to the Germans. And so delicious French pastries were from this moment, definitely out of my life.
But years after, during a trip to England with my girlfriend, our friends Becky and Chiko, told us about Cradle. They said the owner of this vegan Café is a French baker and sweared his pastries were incredible. That whet my curiosity. They drove us there. I opened the door and the smell instantly brought me to my childhood. The flour in the air, the fresh bread, the pastries: I was back in France, waiting in a bakery to get a pain au raisin and some candies after a long day at school.
Best vegan croissant, ever.
We ordered all the different pastries and our friends were right: they were out of this world. Just close your eyes and imagine a fresh baked vegan croissant early in the morning: heaven.
The hot chocolate I had as well, turned out to be possibly the best I have ever had. Strong, sweet, dark, creamy: a dream. After this champion breakfast we had a gluten-oil-sugar kind of hangover and felt like sh*t. But it didn’t matter. It was worth it.
*there is a pastry war in France. The majority of the country says that chocolate pastries are called “pain au chocolat”. So the minority is resisting the oppression from the North and still calls it “chocolatine”. I’m from the South West. We think that “pain au chocolat” doesn’t make any sense, since it means “chocolate bread” and that this delicious pastry is not a freaking bread with chocolate in it. “Chocolatine” is just a cute and melodic word, with the word chocolate in it. So here is my advice, if you meet French people, for example at a dinner: just start the debate proclaiming your love for their chocolatines. The evening’s entertainment will be assured.
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