It's ten o'clock in the morning; I barely pulled myself out of bed. Tony informs me daughters number two and three have already texted: they're waiting for a photo of this morning's pastry run.
"But it's 1:00 and 2:00 a.m back home!" I protest as if I'm still their doting mother.
Beginning last Monday morning, our stay in Paris began! How can I say it began on Monday when we arrived on Saturday afternoon? Because it was the first morning pastry run.
We are now on day five and each day, Tony has worked himself down another block, to another boulangerie.
"Are there really that many bakeries?" another daughter asks during a facetime conversation.
"Usually one per block. Not all of them are good. One must be discerning."
Tony is indeed discerning.
Monday morning: classic croissant, almond croissant, and pain au chocolat were the kickoff. The cost of a plain croissant is typically one euro. Notice there are only three French pastries on this plate.
Wednesday morning: Notice there are five pastries and a baguette on this morning's run. Though the little critter is a two-bite only pastry. In Tony's defense, there were leftovers for the afternoon.
Thursday morning: Back down to four pastries: still leftovers
After four days of indulgence, we claim a kind of conoisseure-ship for the four bakeries found at incremental distances from our apartment if heading in a north-west direction. Two of the bakeries have won awards for the best baguette of the year, different years. The croissants were most buttery from Julian's, The Parisienne receives the award for best baguette. By now we're using phrases such as "The crunch is too much; I prefer the crunch on the top and the soft inside." I felt I possessed the finesse of Master Chef's Christina Tosi. Once our palettes were trained, we saved the best for the end of the week: croissants from Pierre Herme. It required a bike ride to the Left Bank, the Rive Gauche, on Rue Bonapartes~~ after which we saved the croissants for our favorite spot in Luxembourg Parc~~the Medici fountain, where we slowly, quietly, indulged.
From left to right: pain au chocolat (with two ribbons of chocolat), croissant with mango/orange pate, and ispahan croissant, a raspberry, almond filling.
A month before our Paris arrival, Tony started craving and searching for the American counterpart of a great croissant. He never found it and in exasperation exclaimed, "I'm not eating another croissant until Paris."
The wait has more than paid off.
And Sunday, thank goodness, is a day of rest.