Someone has been obsessively ranking every single croissant in Toronto
Someone has taken on the monumental task of tasting and ranking every single croissant in and around the city of Toronto, and the results are exhaustive.
It makes a little more sense once you learn that the person conducting this obsessive experiment is a French chef, Romain Avril.
He's worked for restaurants in Toronto and makes his own cooking content online, but when he's not doing things like that you'll find him out hunting for the best croissant in town.
His technical knowledge takes his short video reviews beyond the pedestrian, with a discussion of colour, aroma, elasticity and internal "honeycomb structure." He only ever reviews the simplest butter croissant at each bakery he visits.
Having reviewed almost 100 (yes, you read that right) croissants in the city so far, Avril actually didn't even set out to make the series so thorough.
"The series really started when I went home in France for the holidays and I needed content as I didn't have a great setup to make cooking videos," Avril tells blogTO.
"What I didn't expect would be to have so many people obsessed with croissants and the series."
He's done croissant reviews in various areas of France as well.
"The goal of the series is to find my forever favourite croissant. It is obviously very biased ranking, croissants are very personal," says Avril.
"Some prefer them more cooked, some less. Some like a sweeter croissant, others saltier. People like an airy one, others more of a chew.
So really to each their own, and it's totally my own preferences."
As far as those preferences go, Le Genie clinches the top spot in his ranking so far for a $6.42 croissant. After that comes Duo in Markham, Tasso, Bartholomew Bakery in Vaughan and Emmer. He's also given high rankings to bakeries Fleur du Jour and Petit Thuet.
As for the bottom spots, Avril isn't afraid to wade into the croissant trenches, with Starbucks taking the bottom spot, then Tim Hortons, then Aroma. Still, he persists in his search for an absolute favourite.
"The list does go on. Literally. The best-ranked ones are slightly over the France ones I've done so far. But I have so many more to try. I am going to stop season one at 100 but I will be continuing. I just need a little break. I have way more in T.O. and Canada to try. And I am heading back to France soon," says Avril.
"I also have a few reviews happening soon in New York, Arizona, Australia and maybe Japan. That's the beginning and hopefully, I find the perfect croissant for me since it is so subjective. One thing I hope is that people can now pronounce is croissant correctly. Silent T my friends, silent T."
When it comes to whether the chef thinks he can do better than the masters, he says he's "not a professional baker but a professional eater."
He's also hoping to turn the tables on himself soon by making an at-home croissant baking video using no professional equipment, and may even have a pro review the end result.
Fareen Karim at Emmer
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