Argentan Croissant Tour

In today’s advent calendar envelope, the card said: Croissant Tour — test 4 to 6 bakeries. So that’s what we did. After the kids got home from school we set out.

Our goal was to pick up two croissants from each bakery and then bring them home for a test taste to determine our favorites.

Bakery No. 1 — La Passion du Pain
Croissants cost 80 centimes each

This is what Bakery No. 1’s croissants look like.

Bakery No. 2 — La Desirée
Croissants cost 95 centimes each

This is what Bakery No. 2’s croissants look like.

Bakery No. 3 — Au Pont Fleuri
Croissants cost 90 centimes each 

This is what Bakery No. 3’s croissants look like.

Bakery No. 4 — Les Trois Croix
Croissants cost 90 centimes each

This is what Bakery No. 4’s croissants look like.

Bakery No. 5 — Lecuyer
Croissants cost 95 centimes each 

This is what Bakery No. 5’s croissants look like.

There are at least 3 other bakeries I can think of in our little town — and that’s not counting the in-house bakeries at the supermarkets. Of the three other bakeries, one was closed today, one is a nationwide chain (so we decided to skip it), and one is just a bit too far out of the way. And there are probably others I’ve forgotten about or don’t even know about! I can’t believe how lucky we are to have so many wonderful local bakeries in our little town.

Ready for the taste test results?

Oscar’s favorite croissant was from Bakery No. 5. Oscar says, “It’s so fluffy and it has the perfect taste.” Oscar’s second favorite croissant was from Bakery No. 3.

Betty’s favorite croissant was also from Bakery No. 5. Betty says, “It was satisfying to rip and it was my favorite taste.” Betty’s second favorite was from Bakery No. 4.

Flora’s favorite croissant was from Bakery No. 2. Flora says, “It’s like soft inside but also a little crispy with the perfect texture and taste.” Flora’s second favorite was from Bakery No. 3.

Ben Blair had postive things to say about all five:

Bakery No. 1: More bread-y than buttery flavor. Texture a bit more dense great filled out shape.
Bakery No. 2: Great texture. Duller butter taste. Really nice small caraméliséd bite.
Bakery No. 3: Nice texture. A delicious burned-butter taste.
Bakery No. 4: Full shape, including curve. Best texture but least favorite taste.
Bakery No. 5: Great initial crispy outer texture, with thin layers. Good full buttery taste.

His favorite? Bakery No. 5. And my favorite was also Bakery No. 5 — which means for the Blair Family, Bakery No. 5 is the clear winner!

Have you ever done a test taste of local foods to discover your favorite? Favorite pizza? Favorite coffee or hot cocoa? Favorite strawberry ice cream? Favorite club sandwich? It’s such a lovely way to get to know your town or neighborhood. I’d love to hear about your taste test adventures.

30 thoughts on “Argentan Croissant Tour”

  1. Taste tests are also fun to do on vacation! We went to Key West and sampled several Key Lime pies in one afternoon. My kids still talk about that more than anything else from the vacation.

  2. We go to Ocean City NJ for vacation every summer, and every 2-3 years we update the results of our Boardwalk Fudge Taste Test. We walk down the boardwalk and buy samples of plain chocolate and plain peanut butter fudge (because they all have both of these flavors, which are classic and favorite, and not muddled by add-ins) from every fudge shop, all the way down to the end. Then we taste and rank for flavor and texture (gritty, smooth, etc.). The results are pretty much the same each time, but you never know, so for full scientific rigor we are careful to recheck every couple of years! :D

  3. So fun! We’ve done this with chocolate, ice cream, and cheese, and since our family likes Indian restaurants, we kept notes on our likes/dislikes at the local options (until we found a favorite and now only return to that one). Hope you share the other great advent calendar quests!

  4. What a fun activity! I think many kids would be delighted to have this special fun afternoon on a school day, and yet it wasn’t very expensive or difficult to pull off. Major mom points.

  5. So fun! We love croissants! I am jealous! They simply are not the same in America, though Peet’s coffee does have a pretty good one. I’ve done this with hot chocolate and blueberry pancakes (but not all on the same day).

  6. Bakery 4’s croissants are made with margarine. In France the straight ones are made with butter. (Sorry if I learned this from you!! Ha!) I’m going to make the assumption that it explains the lack in flavor.

    On a side note, I’m so jealous that you get to eat French bread and butter on the regular. It is sooo good. Interestingly my friend with gluten intolerance doesn’t have issues when she eats bread in France. I’m thinking the old world, non-gmo wheat has less gluten.

  7. We recently moved from California to Italy and have been a bit disappointed with the bread and baked goods. They sell cornetti which look like croissants, but aren’t nearly as good. We are going to France (near Lyon) over the Christmas holiday to visit family and plan to indulge in all things baked and bready.

  8. I live in Scotland with a German husband and he’s crazy about bread! He would’ve loved your taste test and most of what his family talks about at home is which bakery to go to for particular types of rolls for breakfast! In Scotland we do the same with chips (fries) :)

  9. Over the summer my family did this with pastrami sandwiches, which seems like a weird food item to have an abundance of, especially in California, but that’s what we’ve got. We did a blind sampling and had score cards and took it VERY seriously. It was so much fun! I’ve done it with ice cream too. Up next: tacos.

  10. We do this with Ramen all over Japan (where we live). It’s funny, but our all-around favorite Ramen is at a local place, though Kyoto’s was a close second for me.

    1. We also did this all over Japan when we were visiting, but with gyoza :) First time visit to Japan earlier this year – I’m so envious you get to live there! We were blown away by the natural beauty, the delicious food, the incredible history and most of all, the kindness of the people.

  11. Living in Germany and being German it is definitely the bread discussion in our family. It is a very serious thing to choose the right bread (about 20 varieties in each shop) from the right bakery (4 in our little town) for each occassion/meal.

  12. Reuben sandwiches! We have a long list and someone typically orders one to assess and rank! We talk A LOT of smack about Reubens and fancy ourselves world authorities!! Tons of fun!

  13. We’ve done it several times with apples. There are so many more varieties that when I was a kid! Today we taste tested Cosmic Crisp, Sugar Bee, and Honey Crisp.

  14. Très drôle de faire un test de croissant, il en faut pour tous les gouts. Donc ce qui plait à l’un ne plait pas à l’autre. Normal nous sommes tous différents et c’est bien !!!!

  15. As a French person, I have to say that visually at least, my favorites are those on the left where the horns sort of hang from the croissant body.
    I’m part of the “horn-tearer” group, then I eat the crest, and then rip through the body… This is the best way to eat those bad boys!!
    Thank you for that test, it was fun to read!

  16. What a fabulous idea! I believe we shall try this out but with doughnuts! We live in metro Detroit and over Christmas break, I believe we shall head downtown and do a bit of a taste test :) Perhaps toss in a tour of the Fisher building to!

  17. THIS is why you live in France. What a great way to embrace where you live. I so appreciate this fun post. I once did this with egg and cheese breakfast sandwiches. It was fun and eye-opening.

  18. My spouse and I kind of do this everywhere we go. My family recently spent a month in Montréal, which was about as close as we could get to France for baked goods! We had such a great time trying different pastries — generally, we would get a chocolatine (French Canadian for pain au chocolat), and then whatever else looked good. They even had a gluten-free patisserie so delicious that my spouse tried to get the recipes.

    We’re in New Orleans right now (part of a long family road trip from our home in Portland, OR), and we’ve been eating tons of different varieties of Nola food — particularly beignets, fried oysters, and po’boys.

  19. My husband and I love to do these! We’ve done tacos (helped us find the right truck for our wedding!) and hot dogs locally, and this Thanksgiving we did kolaches in Houston TX with his family!

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