How to Eat a Croissant
Our farmer’s market features several bakers, one of whom has quite taken the market crowd by storm, famous for several of her creations.
One day she started making croissants, which Sébastien immediately bought.
Always on the lookout for a decent croissant, French people in exile in these culinary hinterlands we call the U.S.
“Do you know how to eat a croissant properly?” the kindly bakerly lady (she just LOOKS bakerly, you know what I mean) asked him.
Sébastien blinked. He gets these taken-aback moments, you know, when people try to tell him how to do French things while not realizing he is French. It happens with surprising frequency. It’s quite interesting; I don’t think other cultures encounter this as much. I believe there is a strong desire to master Frenchness running through quite a few people in the US and possibly elsewhere, stronger, say, than the desire to master Russian-ness or Italian-ness or even our ever-popular Irish-ness.
“You take the little end and unroll it,” the kindly bakerly lady said, her eyes all sparkling. “You unroll it all the way out and then you eat it.”
Sébastien blinked again. His eyes squinted up. He almost said something. Then he abandoned the impulse. You can’t tell a kindly baker with sparkling happy eyes who is lecturing you on the way to eat your culture’s most emblematic food that she is totally wrong, can you? He’s so cute when he hits these moments, honestly. He’s so sweet to people.
“Most people don’t know that,” she said happily, not realizing most people don’t know that because that’s not how you eat a croissant. “But that’s the way you do it. It’s fun to play with.”
(Note: Don’t play with croissants! That’s almost as bad as playing with BREAD. Le pain, ça se respecte. Le croissant, too.)
So Sébastien never said a word and we went to the park, where he ate his kind-of-croissant (without unrolling it) and sighed.
He really misses Parisian bakeries, pretty nearly every day.