Thursday, December 22, 2016

Croissants from Liberté, Paris

During my first stay in Paris, I grew sick of the lackluster breakfast at the W where I was staying, and decided to venture outside my hotel for breakfast finally.  After all, I was in Paris, and there were great bakeries everywhere.

I didn't have time to stray far away to visit one of the pâtisseries on my list though, as I was in Paris for work, and needed to get to the office in a timely fashion.  So I went to Liberté, a pâtisserie located in the food hall at Galeries Lafayette Paris Haussmann, just a few blocks from my hotel (they also have a real location, but this one was the convenient one for me and seemed more legit than any other option close by).

I only tried one item, a simple croissant, and it was fine, but not earth shattering.  I intended to stop by another time to get something more interesting, like the signature chocolate bread with white and milk chocolate chips that looked amazing, but, alas, I never got a chance.
Desserts.
As it was breakfast, I moved right on past the dessert items, although I know la tarte à la crème is supposed to be notable, a sweet pastry crust, topped with a dome of vanilla pastry cream, covered in a mound of chantilly.  These items all looked pretty great, and I made a note to return another time for dessert (sadly, I never did).
Viennoiserie.
The selection of items I deemed appropriate for breakfast however was just as large.  Plain croissants, chocolate croissants (sorry, sorry, pain au chocolat), apple turnovers, and raisin snails, as pretty much every boulangerie/pâtisserie in Paris offers.

More unique were the breakfast breads: "La Tradition Chocolate", "La Brioche Praline", and "La Brioche Nature".  Yes, you can argue weather these are really "breakfast", and yes, they would be suitable for afternoon snack too.  They really called out to me, as they were more unique, and ... glistening.  Really.

The praline brioche had a lovely pink hue, and I almost got it, but given that I couldn't make up my mind, I decided the 4€ price ruled it out (which isn't actually expensive, just, compared to the others it was double the price).  Plus, I knew it would be nothing compared to the praluline, the most epic praline bread ever.

The signature chocolate bread though looked incredible, studded with chocolate chips and white chocolate chips (and glistening!).  It was only 2€.  But it was also huge, and I didn't really want something THAT big.  Plus, I wasn't even sure if I really liked chocolate bread?
Le Croissant au Beurre. 1.20€.
I let my indecision make me boring and opted for a plain croissant.  I'd had so many sweets already in Paris, and decided that keeping it simple is actually what I needed.  Plus, I was planning to return to my hotel (The W, where the breakfast buffet was fairly lackluster, but, had amazing jam) to eat my croissant, where coffee and jams to spread on it awaited me (I really couldn't get over those jams by the way).

It was a good croissant.  The exterior was flaky.  The inside soft and fluffy.  It was clearly a true croissant au beurre, all butter, and as decadent as a pure butter croissant can be.  The paper bag it came in was quickly soaked through, but it didn't actually seem greasy or oily.

I liked it, and it was far better than the croissants I encountered at the hotel or my office, but it still wasn't mind blowing.  I did opt to slather it in jams, but that was just personal preference, I gave a bite to Ojan, and he preferred it plain.
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