Before starting my jewellery brand Au Revoir Les Filles, I spent 2 years in Paris studying Fashion Design. My first 3 months there, I ate a delicious, crispy croissant everyday for breakfast. There was nothing I loved more than to stroll into my local boulangerie each morning and greet the staff with "Bonjour! Un croissant, s'il vous plaît." Buttery and flaky, this iconic French pastry was a decadent pinch to myself that I wasn't dreaming, that I was actually living in the City of Lights.
Now back in Sydney, this memory never fails to make my mouth water especially during a challenging time like Covid. Travel restrictions have yet to be eased in Australia, and many including myself are pining for a world beyond our local suburbs. There is something about the power of food to evoke a memory, to transport you to other places, and I wanted to be a part of that.
I'm always drawn to memories when I'm designing jewellery. The Croissant Ring and Hoops are inspired by their namesake pastry, an ode to my early days in Paris. Biting into those golden puffed domes all those years ago, I marvelled at how different they were to croissants I've had in Australia. For those of you who are in lockdown and dreaming of France, here are some quaint differences between the two.
Firstly, French croissants are tiny! They are half the size of their Aussie counterparts, very dainty and moreish. The French don't feel the need to eat a lot, preferring smaller portions like a petite croissant and coffee for breakfast. In Paris, I had no problem devouring a whole croissant, but I always struggle to finish half a croissant here in Sydney.
Secondly, the French eat their croissants plain, whereas Aussies (and the rest of the world) like theirs with ham and cheese. I once asked a boulanger if he can add jambon et fromage to my croissant, and his reply was, "Non, c'est pas français du tout". So for 2 years, I was unable to get a ham and cheese croissant in Paris because sadly, it's just not French.
Lastly, croissants are a love letter to butter and flour. Though smaller in size, French croissants are a lot richer than Aussie croissants because they use cultured butter. Most Australian butter is not cultured and thus has less fat content and flavour, resulting in croissants that taste dryer and more doughy. Which probably explains why they taste better with ham and cheese, whereas that combo would be an overkill in Paris.
There you go, I hope you enjoy this quaint croissant memory of mine. If you are in Sydney, one of my favourite places to grab a crispy croissant is Wild Cockatoo Bakery 😋
How do you like your croissants, plain or with fillings? Where's YOUR best place to grab a croissant?
Comment below, I'll love to know!