French bakery taste test
I’m lucky to live in Portland, Oregon, where we have a plethora of bakeries to choose from but this past weekend, I simply couldn’t make up my mind… so I did a ‘bakery crawl’ and visited no less than FOUR amazingly delicious boulangeries.
I decided to visit the four bakeries located along a stretch of Division Street in SE Portland.
I bounced from Petite Provence at 48th Avenue to Roman Candle and St. Honoré around 33rd to Little T’s at 26th Avenue. Yep, within 22 blocks of the same street, you’ll find four of my favorite bakeries.
Rows of pastries, baskets of breads, and shelves of sweet sugary treats all stared me in the face as I tried to pick out that special something to take home.
But very quickly, what started out as me simply wanting to visit a few bakeries turned into an all-out, throw-down taste test between one of my favorite types of pastries, the Kouign Amann. Pronounced queen ah-mahn, this heavenly French treat is best described as a super-buttery up-side-down croissant covered in sticky caramelized sugar and, here in Portland, often sprinkled with flakes of sea salt.
Three of the four boulangeries offered this yummy pastry so my ‘loot shoot’ this weekend was this collection of bakery bags!
While I could eat bread and pastries for all three meals a day, this was a bit too much to handle on my own so I enlisted my hubby to help me judge this Kouign Amann taste test – he happily obliged.
First up, Roman Candle. Their Kouign Amann cost $3.00 and was the smallest of the three – roughly the same diameter but not as thick with little corners almost creating little ‘feet’ on which the pastry rested. Lightest in color, it also had the most flakes of sea salt.
Next up, St. Honoré. This one cost $3.75 and was the largest of the three – pretty round shape and roughly twice the thickness as the one from Roman Candle. Also plenty of sea salt on top.
And lastly, Little T. A bit oval in shape and lacking salt, it cost $3.50 and was one of the last two left in their case – clearly a popular treat.
So which one did I prefer? Surprisingly enough, St. Honoré was my least favorite. And yet it was finger-lickin’ good! But not as good as the other two. I took a few more bites of both Roman Candle and Little T…
Guess the old saying of ‘less is more’ held true in this case! I loved the airiness of Roman Candle’s thinner pastry but the big thing that put it over the top was the fact that there were flakes of sea salt on top – made a HUGE difference in taste!
So if you find yourself looking for something fun to do next weekend, go on a little ‘stay-cation’ and create a little taste test of your own. Bon apétit!