Friday, June 13, 2008

French training: Petrossian

In two weeks, I will touch down in Paris. I must start training.

Inspired as I was by Lunch with Front Studio's recent visit to Petrossian, and seduced by memories of my first visit there, I trekked to midtown for a morning croissant.

If only I were a purist and could stick to plain croissants. They are beautiful things, and I am always happy when I get one—like the ones from Balthazar and Amai. But when I come face-to-face with the choice of plain or chocolate, I can't not choose chocolate.

I have to say, the pain au chocolat was a strange experience. The outer layers were crisp, golden brown and flaky, as they should be, but so crunchy, they shattered and splattered across the ground when I broke it in half, immediately attracting a flock of pigeons (side, random note: today is national pigeon day?!). It was a bit much—I felt like half my pastry disappeared.

But no matter. Inside, the lesser-baked layers of dough were lightly moist and chewy, but still flakey and crunchy at the folds. The infusion of semi-sweet chocolate was modest, which is par for my tastes. And for those two or three bites that are buttery, chocolaty, chewy and crunchy at once, it was worth it. Pigeons and all.

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