France! Day 7: Hardouin Boulanger


Croissant from Hardouin Boulanger

What? Hardouin Boulanger for croissants! Mmm pastries :D
Where? Les Halles (also another location at 39 Place Grand Marché, Tours)
Price? 0,99€-7€
The skinny: To be honest, I have no idea which is “the best” bakery for certain types of pastries / baked goods. This place seems to be pretty populous so I decided to try it out. 

I went to the location in les Halles. As I past by, I saw that a lady was taking out fresh croissants out of a cart that she had wheeled in from the other Hardouin location. 
Location in Les Halles (a sort of indoor food market) :D (right) Note the absence of croissants beside the pain chocolat. ;)

Here's the side of one of the buildings where I'm studying. Institut d'Études Françaises de Touraine (front pic below)

Fresh croissants yessss!! I decided to get only one. Don’t want to fatten myself up too much. Haha...you don't even know. I've been substituting butter for all usage of oil/margarine. It's horrible but so good!
(left) The stand-alone Hardouin Boulanger location about 500m away from the way in Les Halles.

I look over and I see “Hardouin Charcuterie”. Hmm..didn’t know they sold meats too. Interesting. 
Hardouin: Le Charcuterie. Boudin Noir = blood sausage.

This croissant looked pretty unique. Rather than the usual simple rolled pastry, each roll seems to have mini layers. 
Such a rich golden yellow/brown. I'm gonna take a stab and say that the sheen is from an egg white wash.

Biting into it, there was an uber-satisfying crack, then a crunch. That’s when you hit the soft, airy inside. It was so buttery smooth. Ohmondieu. <-- can I say that? 
Check out those air pockets!

Well, let’s just say that for my first croissant in France, it was a great start. Formidable. :D I was really apprehensive to try them just because of the anticipation and the expectation that comes with trying any food product that a country is widely known for. 
(left) Showing the contrast from the outside and inside. Biting in, the croissant just unraveled itself. Beautiful!

In simple terms, I was a very happy person. Just sitting in front of my window, enjoying my first croissant in France. Although this isn't what I see from my window...it is where I'm studying. Beautiful n'est-ce pas? Oui. Ce n'est pas toujours qui vous vous trouvez dans une si belle édifice qui est à la fois historique. 
The front façade of bâtiment Balzac of Institut de Touraine.

Verdict? No doubt I’ll be trying croissants from other boulangers but I’ll still return to Hardouin. Stoked!

4.5 out of 5 NOMs