January 30 is Croissant Day

[Updated: January 2021. This post is not sponsored.]

Nespresso Café in San Francisco

In 2019, I learned that January 30 is National Croissant Day in the United States from the Starbucks mobile app!

Starbucks app

I couldn’t find the origins of this “national day” to celebrate the flaky, buttery French pastry, but as a fan of all things French, I’m glad someone made it up.

Just for fun, here’s a round-up of my favorite croissant-related content, followed by a few pictures of my favorite croissants!

  • This is a funny Vine. They call it the “croissant drop” #relatable
  • I admit I say “kraw-Sohnt” because to me, saying it the French way (with the nasal “kwa-Soh”) outside of France sounds pretentious. Here’s a short video showing how to pronounce croissant in English

Canvas tote bag I got from a boutique in Toulouse

In southwest France, chocolate croissants are called chocolatines. Imagine my delight in asking for one by name at a Farmers’ Market near Toulouse:

from the farmers’ market near Toulouse

When I returned to California, I noticed chocolate croissants being sold as chocolatines at a local bakery:

from La Farine in Oakland, California

from CDG Paris airport

from La Châtaigne in Lafayette, California

from Tartine in San Francisco

from Urth Caffé at LAX

from Steak & Lobster Restaurant at London Heathrow

from CDG Paris airport

Ah, if only I could, I’d have a croissant in Paris every day!

Back to reality… I love the mini croissants from Safeway:

pack of mini croissants in a clear container

Signature Kitchens natural butter croissants from Safeway

I like to eat them plain or I fill them with Nutella, apricot jam, or chicken salad. These mini croissants may not be made in France, but they satisfy this Francophile just the same.

Enjoy your Croissant Day! 🥐

Donut Petit in Alameda, California

I learned about Donut Petit a few years ago when I spotted their float in Alameda’s 4th of July Parade in 2017 (see above). This weekend, I finally got the chance to visit the cute little bakery.

A little word about petit

Recalling the handy acronym BAGS (beauty, age, goodness, size) that I learned in my French classes, I know the word petit (meaning small or little) should go before the noun.

So while I’m tempted to call the charming little donut shop Le Petit Donut, I just tell myself, “Do not (be) petty!” (Donut Petit!)

Just a guess, but perhaps the name is supposed to sound like “bon appétit”…?

The pale blue paint, gold accents, and wicker bistro chairs give the shop an elegant, French-inspired appearance, as well as an inviting atmosphere. However, due to physical distancing protocols, there’s currently no dine-in, only take-out.

Behind the glass, I could tell they had creative flavors, such as lavender, lilikoi (passionfruit), and Mauisadas (Hawaiian sugar donuts filled with pineapple).

They looked appetizing, but I wasn’t in an adventurous mood. Instead, I ordered pastries that looked familiar: a brownie croissant, a chocolate twist, and a pair of French crullers – one glazed and the other with chocolate icing sprinkled with rainbow nonpareils. As a lagniappe, they gave me a blueberry cake donut.

I’d never seen a brownie inside a croissant before. It tasted OK, but it felt a bit strange to bite into a baked good inside another baked good. Sadly, the glazed French cruller was disappointing. I was expecting it to be light and airy, not greasy and dense.

Maybe next time, I’ll get out of my comfort zone and give their matcha or guava donuts a try! 🍩

Do you like donuts? I love maple bars. 🍁 Tell me your favorite flavor in the comments below!

Oui Oui! Macaron

la vie en rose (et verte): rose macaron sprinkled with matcha green tea

The nursery rhyme, “This Little Piggy” came to mind when I saw this macaron shop! Housed in a powder blue shipping container in the Emeryville Public Market, Oui Oui! Macaron is a good place to pick up a small dessert after having lunch or dinner from one of the food stalls.

“This little piggy went to Public Market…

This little piggy took some Oui Oui! Macaron all the way home!”

I took home a box of six:

Top row: strawberry balsamic, coffee

Bottom row: churro, lavender vanilla, vanilla, matcha rose

I was excited to try the churro macaron, which tasted and smelled like the cinnamon sugar fried donut, but I found it to be a bit chewy!

Once again, the vanilla macaron was a winner for me! The shells were crispy, but not too chewy. The filling was light like a whipped cream, but tasted like rich buttercream!

Overall, I say, yes to Oui Oui! Macaron!

If you enjoyed this post, you may be interested in my other posts about macarons:

Visiting Seattle: Original Starbucks

If you’re a coffee addict like me, then you’ll want to visit the “Original Starbucks” when visiting Seattle.

Did you know there are two originals in town? One is the first store that opened in 1971 and the other is the Starbucks Reserve Roastery & Tasting Room that opened in 2014.

I like one more than the other.

1912 Pike Place storefront

1912 Pike Place

Skip the Original Starbucks on 1912 Pike Place.

Go ahead, take the obligatory selfie at the storefront with the siren in all her topless glory. Just don’t wait in line for an hour to get inside, where it’s cramped and they sell the standard food and coffee drinks. It’s good stuff, but you can find ’em at any Starbucks.

⭐️ The much better option to get your “Original Starbucks” fix is to visit the upscale Starbucks Reserve Roastery & Tasting Room on 1124 Pike Street.

Imagine: Fancier food and beverage options in addition to standard Starbucks offerings you love. Ceramic cups and plates on wooden trays. Tables and chairs. No crowds. And no waiting in long lines.

Sounds more inviting, right? Go ahead, luxuriate in there for an hour!

pizze al taglio and an almond cookie from Princi bakery

Princi bakery located inside the Seattle Roastery

The best part is that you get treated to a show of coffee beans going through the roasting and bagging process in batches.

There are currently five Starbucks Reserve Roasteries in the world. The original opened in the Capitol Hill neighborhood of Seattle in December 2014. Since then, Starbucks has opened Roasteries in Shanghai, Milano, New York, and Tokyo. (Opening soon in Chicago!)

📸: All photos by Jennifer

For more information:

Starbucks Reserve – official website ☕️

This post is #2 of 6 in my Visiting Seattle series.

La Farine: French bakery in Oakland

This photo was taken at the Rockridge location of La Farine, a French boulangerie and pâtisserie in Oakland, California:

I’m tickled that “chocolatine” is catching on outside of Toulouse, France, where I learned that’s what they call a chocolate croissant (also known as pain au chocolat)!

chocolate éclair, shortbread, and a chocolate espresso cookie from La Farine

I wanted coffee to go with my chocolate espresso cookie, but learned that they stop making coffee at 4:30. So I went next door and got a cappuccino from Peet’s instead.

Overall, it was a nice Sunday afternoon break!

My related post:

Farmers’ Market (link)

For more information:

La Farine (link)

La Châtaigne: French bakery in Lafayette, California

La Châtaigne is a French bakery located in Lafayette, California (about 22 miles/34 km east of San Francisco).

Located in La Fiesta Square, the patisserie overlooks the parking lot, so there isn’t much of a view, but it’s perfect so you can enjoy your pastries and conversations.

My family and I got to La Châtaigne around 12:30 on a Sunday. Maybe we should have arrived earlier because their display case was half-empty (or half-full for those of you who are optimists!)

The cashier was quick to acknowledge the slim pickings, but apologized, and pointed out what was left: madeleines, a couple of leaf-shaped breads (fougasse), about a dozen croissants, several slices of Opera cake, and one slice of quiche.

no brewed coffee, only espresso drinks here!

the bakery also sold jam, caramels, and candies from France

In a few ways, it was like being temporarily transported to a Parisian bistro. For example, there were small tables with wicker chairs. There were dogs tied to table legs by their leashes. There were a couple of well-dressed ladies clutching their designer handbags. You could hear the Madeleine Peyroux version of “J’ai deux amours” emanating softly from inside the bakery.

I’d be reminded I was in California, though, when I’d see the occasional cyclist or 20-something in yoga pants come through. Also notably absent were ashtrays on the tables and cigarette smoke. Unlike Paris, smoking is banned in many public places in California.

Overall, I liked this little bakery. I like how it has the grab and go feel of a donut shop, but with the sit-down experience of having your food brought to your table on actual plates and cups. The pain au chocolat was fresh baked, buttery, and flaky. The Americano was delicious, as well. I’d like to come back to try their other pastries.

For more information, visit the La Châtaigne website

Bonne journée / Enjoy your day!

Have you been to La Châtaigne? Tell me in the comments below!