Eat Here, Not There: Ham-and-Cheese Croissant
I don't think I've ever met a ham and cheese croissant I didn't like. Taken from our county's myriad of mom-and-pop donut shops, they're usually more like a ham-and-cheese danish: croissant dough folded into thick pillows, dense Danola-type ham tucked inside with cheese of indeterminate origin, but probably Swiss.
If all those ham-and-cheese croissants from all those corner doughnut shops have anything in common, it's that they're girthy and filling enough to last you until lunchtime and beyond, a breakfast sandwich really, with only the egg missing.
Cream Pan's ham-and-cheese croissant is another story. First of all, it is actually a croissant, rolled up to its recognizable shape--noble bump in the middle trailing off to sharp points on either end. Second of all, it's not a meal, but a treat. A treat you savor with tea.
I ate one today with a hot cup of regular Lipton from a bag, sipping between bites, biting between sips. In the five or so minutes the pastry lasted, I attained a fugue-like state of peace and contentment in the middle of a hectic morning.
The croissant is delicate and greaseless, the perfect midpoint between moist and crispness, shedding flakes as you bite. After you get to the fat middle, you can look inside at the hollow cavern. At the center, near the bottom, lies a flute of thin, rolled ham with a slightly stinky line of cheese oozing out of it. If you're lucky, some of the cheese has melted and spilled out the open ends during baking to form a crispy, solidified puddle of savoriness--something you'll never experience with your corner doughnut shop's ham-and-cheese croissant.
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