Croissants for a Frosty Morning!

So many people sang the praises of oatmeal on a frosty morning in the previous post, November Morning, that perversely I found myself longing for something totally different. In fact, for a croissant!

But not just any croissant. Such a croissant as I would find in Paris, the kind I swoon over when I see them on blogs such as Paris Breakfasts, where I usually get my patisserie and chocolate fix. This is not a longing easy of fulfillment in New England. But Northampton, MA, is a different kind of place in many ways, and one of those differences is having an authentic Parisian-style café where whoever makes them learned how to make his or her croissants from an actual French baker. No wonder the phrase goes: Vive la différence!

This young woman is actually a Smith College student (or perhaps an instructor?) stocking up on her way to campus, but my goodness, she too is authentic! All that black, the obligatory scarf, a charming feather thing-y in her hair—

And here we are in Paris, while outside across the street begins the campus of Smith College —

The croissants go flying out the door in little brown paper bags in the morning, but I order mine to stay, with its accompanying apricot jam.

Sometimes I think that a really good thin crisp baguette (along with the butter and the apricot jam, bien sûr) is even more uncommon a treat than croissants. Here at 40 Green Street the unknown French baker (so far as I know) also taught the art of baguette-making, because these are the best I’ve ever had outside of France.

So whatever your pleasure — Frank does coffee, I do tea, but you’re welcome to a big cup of café au lait if you prefer — if you’re ever in these parts, come meet me for petit déjeuner at 40 Green Street. It’s a great introduction to Northampton, a quirky, funky, one-of-a-kind kind of town. I’ll be showing you much more of Northampton in posts to come — meanwhile enjoy your breakfast!

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34 Responses to Croissants for a Frosty Morning!

  1. Pauline says:

    Perfect! Perhaps, when I am there for an extended time (we’re going away at Thanksgiving), you and Cass and the Bean and I can meet there. Ada can add French to her repertoire of languages and we can eat croissants!


  2. Rebekah says:

    This post really makes me want to go there. You obviously love the French. Have you ever been to Quebec City? It sure is an interesting experience … when you’re in the old city, it’s hard to believe you’re on the North American continent.

    I’d love to have a petit déjeuner there 🙂


    • Touch2Touch says:

      Who knows when the spirit will move you to come south to the Pioneer Valley? Lots to see here and in the Berkshires. Summer at least is clement and nice!
      I’ve been to Montréal, which we enjoyed immensely, but never to Québec City, which I’d love to visit. The idea of travel just now seems impossibly difficult, but perhaps one day??????????


      • Rebekah says:

        …just asked my husband — who now is up, and has lived both in France and Quebec — how he found the bread, and he says that he could find croissants in QC that were just as good, if not even better than the ones in France.

        Myself, I had nothing to compare with, so I just ate and enjoyed.

        QC is like a little bit of Europe …and you don’t hear any English spoken..


  3. Richard Hauser says:

    Our daughter and her family lived in Grenoble for several years. A clear and lovely memory of one of many visits was a trip to the local patisserie with my twin granddaughters, then aged five. They were shy little girls, but the reward for saying to the baker “pain au chocolate” conquered their shyness, While I know that a lovely early winter morning in Grenoble in the company of two adorable little girls had something to do with it, nothing has ever tasted that good. And, most likely nothing ever will.


    • Touch2Touch says:

      Of course we can’t provide the twin granddaughters (who in any event are long past the bewitching age of five) — we can offer a delicious pain au chocolat! If you’re passing this way heading north, come and share a petit déjeuner in Northampton.
      (Or we can offer a more substantial chaudière chez nous for lunch!)


  4. Claudia Shuster says:

    i was hoping for a nifty recipe! Shucks!
    Enjoy the cafe!


  5. barb19 says:

    Perfect! I adore croissants and would love to join you for breakfast one day so we can enjoy them together . . .
    Looking forward to hearing more about Northampton!


  6. I agree with Rebekah’s husband. have had croissants in France and in Quebec City and Quebec City’s are the best. yum yum.


  7. John Weeren says:

    Delicious post. 🙂


  8. Stef says:

    Was that your visage I saw in the mirror? If so, je l’aime beaucoup! 🙂

    The croissant with apricot jam looks divine. Darn you – I may have to seek out an authentic croissant now!


  9. You’ve made me hungry – no croissants going but I might be forced to have a bagel!


  10. Your post made me start to think about what I should make for breakfast in the morning. Then your pictures and mouth-watering description made me think we should pack up and head directly to Northampton, MA for our breakfast! If only it weren’t such a long drive….


  11. As Liz Lemon would say “I want to go to there”. 🙂 I just adore when you find an eatery that transports you by engaging all your senses; not just your taste buds. There are a few places like that in NYC; places where a sojourn starts with a sip of soup but, the artifacts (some might say artifice) carries you to another country.


    • Touch2Touch says:

      I hadn’t thought of it so precisely, even to myself. Just reacted to the whole —
      Tree, your astute comment adds a layer of understanding to an already multi-layered experience.
      If you find yourself in the Pioneer Valley, and you like apricot jam —– you’re invited!


  12. Gobetween says:

    Wow, now I have a craving for thick butter and apricot jam – yummy!


  13. Outstanding photo’s … they told a story all by themselves. I saw the coffee
    sign and immediately craved coffee.
    Very nice,


  14. Ah, Northampton. With a little bit of Paris mixed in for good measure? A magical place indeed!


  15. 2e0mca says:

    A lovely set of photos to whet the appetite 🙂 I think I’ll have to pop to our local bakery now!


  16. great tribute for breakfast rites!


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