By Stephanie Dagg at Alder Lake;
Let’s face it, the French know how to do breakfasts. I defy any other nation to get as much chocolate into a single meal as the French do! You have hot chocolate, pains au chocolat, other viennoiseries adorned with chocolate and/or chocolatey cereal. I checked the other day – of the cereals on the supermarket shelf, more than half had chocolate in them. Some had three different sorts! See what I mean?
You probably know that the name of the croissant, that quintessential taste of France, comes from its shape – the crescent. But did you know that croissants originated in Vienna (hence the term vienneoiserie that is applied to these flaky delicacies). The proper way to pronounce the name and so avoid the blank stares at the bakery is “Kwosson” not with an ‘R’ as it is murdered in so many American TV series!
However, where the pain au chocolat came from remains a mystery. We’ll never know when exactly someone thought of slipping chocolate into some crossiant dough and making a different shape with it. But thank goodness they did.
Of course, you can go a non-chocolatey breakfast route and have croissants with coffee, or slices of crunchy baguette and jam.
It’s only the ex-pats who go for a fry-up. And a nice strong cup of tea. The French prefer a much weaker brew. I double or even triple up a French origin teabag on the disastrous occasions that we run out of proper British ones! We missed our rashers of bacon to start with, but have made the transition to lardons painlessly – anyway just watch any of the TV chefs with a rasher and the first thing that they do is chop it up into lardons! Serve these up with mushrooms in warm baguette, and topped with a fresh egg from one of our ducks or hens – hard to beat.
And a great way to start a day’s carp fishing. Come to Alder Lake and see for yourself!