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! 🥐

Two French Bakeries and the Blue House in San Francisco

In my blog post, If You’re Going to San Francisco, Be Sure to Watch These Videos Filmed There,” I described how a blue house in San Francisco inspired Maxime Le Forestier to write a French song entitled, “San Francisco.”

I recently got the chance to see the house on 18th Street made famous by the song:

I happened to walk past la maison bleue en route from one French bakery to another French bakery! Quelle coïncidence!

Tartine (600 Guerrero Street)

Ever since my colleague told me about Tartine, a French bakery in the Castro District that he and his wife liked to frequent for brunch, I’d been wanting to go. Thankfully, I relied on my Maps app to find it.

There’s no sign on the building with “Tartine” on it, but you’ll know you’re at the right place when you spot the line out the door. Was the patisserie trying to be unassuming or anonymous? Either way, I figured it added to the mystique.

Once inside, it’s a tight squeeze. I did notice that people were pretty good about eating then promptly leaving so other patrons could have a seat. There were a few tables and chairs outside, too.

While you wait, you can read their laminated menus while you hum along to pop music they play inside at a deafening volume. (Maybe that helps clear the tables…Brilliant!)

Don’t expect service with a smile, though. I got the impression that the people behind the counter and pastry case take themselves too seriously. Fortunately, I have the superpower to tune out the ‘tude and focus on what I came here for:

The pain au chocolat was divine. A billion buttery and flaky layers with gooey dark chocolate inside. My cafe au lait was served in a bowl, like they do in Paris!

Le Marais Bakery (498 Sanchez Street)

I had read positive reviews for another French bakery called Le Marais Bakery. It was three blocks away from Tartine, so I decided to check it out while I was in the neighborhood.

This chocolate chip cookie was delicious:

On that note, have a sweet day! 🍪

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)

Farmers’ Market Near Toulouse

One of my favorite things to do with my family is visiting market halls and open-air farmers’ markets. I love the idea that many food vendors prepare their artisan cuisine on site using fresh ingredients produced by local farmers. I appreciate the abundance and the variety. Plus, I love the possibility of discovering something new.

I’ll never forget the time I went with François, Rachael, and their boys to the Sunday Farmers’ Market in Tournefeuille (about 12 km/7.46 miles from Toulouse in southwest France). In addition to food grown locally, the market featured produce from other countries in Europe, as well as Asia, and Africa. Talk about a treat for the senses!

I marveled at all kinds of marinated olives from Morocco…

There were organic Medjool dates from Israel, fennel from Italy, and dried apricots from Tunisia. I also saw deep purple eggplants, bright green avocados, and Napa cabbage from Spain.

I heard the tapping noise of a steel skimmer spoon as the chef scooped a generous portion of his aromatic paella from a 3-foot wide pan into a paper container for a customer…

I was mesmerized by the machine making radiatori pasta. François got some fresh mushroom ravioli, which he made with a rich and creamy Parmesan sauce for dinner that evening.

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I remember seeing jars of what looked like foie gras (fatty liver of duck or goose) and feeling a bit guilty. I know I shouldn’t have felt bad since the delicacy is not banned in France like it is in California. On the other hand, seeing the French-style salami had me hankering for a saucisson-beurre-cornichon (sausage, butter, and mini pickle) sandwich!

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One of the things I enjoy most at farmers’ markets is the aroma of fresh baked bread. When I noticed the man selling fresh baked baguettes and pastries had one chocolate croissant left, I had to have it!

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For breakfast, I usually have yogurt, a banana, and dark roast coffee with a splash of half-and-half. When I want to treat myself, I have a butter croissant. And when I really want to be indulgent, I have a chocolate croissant. I learned that, in France, these goodies are called different names depending on the region.

pain au chocolat in Paris

So when I ordered the chocolate croissant, I was delighted to ask for it by name the Toulousain way: Je voudrais une chocolatine, s’il vous plaît!