Croissant Taste-Off at the lab: Masse's vs La Farine
So today at work we did a croissant-off between Masse's and La Farine (both in Berkeley). We tried to be scientific about it (we are scientists, after all), but conclusive results can only be obtained by repeated tastings (I hope).
Experiment: Croissant Taste-Off
By: Coolbean98, Mary Kate, and Desserker
Hypothesis: Masse's criossants are yummier than La Farine's.
Materials and Methods: 3 plain croissants each from Masse's ($1.75 each) and La Farine ($1.50 each) were purchased and placed in identical pastry bags. The bags were weighed before eating. The croissants were divided into 3 parts (two tips and a middle), so each taster tried the same section from each bakery's croissant. 4 tasters were blinded during the tasting.
- Weight: Masse's bad was 3 ounces heavier. We hypothesize that this is butter weight, but further investigation is needed.
- Appearance: La Farine had a nicer shape - it was more curved and have more defined layers.
- Crispiness: Masse's won. That's pretty much it.
- Flavor: La Farine was more salty, while Masse's had a sweeter flavor, and one judge commented that it was almost nutty in its butteriness.
Conclusion: Masse's was the more popular croissant.
Recommendations for Future Studies: Chocolatines and Pan au Raisin
Under normal circumstances, I would say that you sure have plenty of time on your hands.
However, and admittedly, being a croissantoholic that I am, I'll say that that's definitely time well spent.
Now, if I can only get my hand on some of those croissants from Masse's.
re: Lost in San Diego
The existing La Farine is at 6323 College Ave. in the Rockridge section of Oakland, just south of Alcatraz Ave. and the Berkeley line.
Masse's is at 1469 Shattuck Ave. in the North Shattuck "gourmet ghetto" area of Berkeley.
I don't know about the jam.
I'm waiting for the day I can go back to Extraordinary Deserts in San Diego.
re: Lost in San Diego
If Homecoming is on a Saturday, you could go to Cheeseboard for pizza (do a search for cheeseboard on the board and you'll find no end of debate about the place - most people agree that it's unique and great, though). Cheeseboard is in the same neighborhood as Masse's - Shattuck at Vine in North Berkeley.
There's also Gregoire in that neighborhood - good, if a tad pricey, take-out French prepared by Gregoire himself. Great deep-fried potato puffs! There are about four seats outside if you can snag 'em. Cedar at Shattuck.
If you get to San Rafael, try
-- Le Croissant on Bellam
-- Taste of Tyrol at Northgate 1
-- International Deli at Northgate 2
Le Croissant's are the biggest (huge, actually) and costliest (@ $2.00)
Taste of Tyrol cost a bit less, and International Deli's are the best deal at $1.25. They are all wonderful.