In Paris, you can wave your scarf in any direction and brush the croissant-filled window of a boulangerie. Of course this doesn’t mean that those croissants are worthy of your attention. It can be a tough job, searching for a perfect croissant.
My checklist: Buttery, flakey, soft and squishy. Ideally, a titch warm from the oven. And on the small side, rather than oversized—the better to break off into chewy little pieces that leave you both happy and wishing for more.
I had read about La Flute Gana in Travel + Leisure and, after Googling “best croissant Paris” and seeing this 20th arrondisement boulangerie come up on numerous sites and blogs, I added it to my must-eat list. I take it as a good sign when street warriors rhapsodize about a neighborhood spot.
I knew the bakery would have an awesome assortment of breads—the founder, Bernard Ganachaud, is legendary for his baguettes. Indeed, “flute” is another word for baguette and “Gana” is the founder’s abbreviated last name. While Ganachaud is retired, his bakeries (a second one just opened in February) are still run by his daughters.
The bread certainly looked and smelled beautiful—god, how I love that warm, yeasty smell inside a good Parisian boulangerie—but I was there for a one thing only: a croissant. After standing in line and feeling more than a little anxious about seeing so many gorgeous pastries and not being able to sample all of them, I made my modest purchase and escaped outside.
I knew before even taking it out of the bag that it was going to be buttery—it was weeping through the paper. The size was perfect. And when I bit into it, it was that heavenly combination of light, spongy and flakey. And, yes, buttery. If I had to criticize, it was just a little overdone. I should add to my checklist that I prefer my croissants just a wee bit undercooked. Nevertheless, it was demolished in about six bites.
226 Rue des Pyrenees