Battle of the Croissants: Essence Bakery vs. Frogs Organic Bakery
|Croissant offerings at the Old Town Farmers Market in Scottsdale, in the corner of the space across from The Mission. Essence Bakery is in the front and Frogs Bakery is in the back.|
And the inspiration shouldn't stop there -- not once you've worked up an appetite for breakfast, or a snack to hold you over until a late lunch.
You'll probably be looking for a croissant.
For the French pastry lover, the Scottsdale Old Town Farmers Market offers no finer dilemma. Newcomers Frogs Organic Bakery from Tucson are building a enthusiastic following of croissant lovers - just up the center aisle from the croissants at Essence Bakery, which Valley folks will passionately tell you couldn't possibly get better.
|Croissants displayed at Frogs Bakery's stand.|
Traveling from Tucson, the bakers at Two Frogs wake up well before an hour that the sun considers to be decent (perhaps they're still on France time), all to bake (amongst a dozen other kinds of pastries and breads) three types of croissants -- a "pain au chocolat" with two slabs of European chocolate, an almond croissant that contains rum-infused simple syrup and almond cream, and a classic, buttery croissant.
The Good: The classic is what we're here to judge -- again and again if necessary. Frogs' croissant is borderline ethereal. It's crispy only in its outermost layers which, themselves, peel back and become lighter and fluffier as each single bite takes its course.
Despite being on the larger side for most croissants, the light and airy consistency has this pastry feeling like a snack, which (in our opinion) it should be. It's the perfect treat to carry around the market and peel away at, or to sit down with and enjoy, if even for just a moment. The flavor is simple and only a tad naturally sweet, so it's the perfect friend to your coffee when you'd rather the flavors not impede on one another.
The Bad: Is it missing a dimension? Because although we'd be happy to dismiss it as simply a different style, the croissant isn't all that buttery; or at least your mouth won't become lacquered in the process. To some, a croissant where you can taste the freshly churned butter is something of a turn on, a signature quality synonymous with croissant making.