Pophams Bakery, the breakfast spot in Islington
Today I would like to tell you about this lovely little bakery in Islington, London. My friend has been raving about Pophams Bakery’s rosemary and sea salt croissants for weeks, so I decided to give them a try!
The Rosemary sea salt croissant
The taste was nice, quite unique. The sea salt and the buttery taste of the original croissant go well together, plus the touch of rosemary makes it fresh and more flavourful. However, I am a little bothered by the name – « Rosemary sea salt croissant ». It’s probably the French side of me having its own tiny revolution, but I find it weird that a pastry that doesn’t have the shape of a croissant is called a ‘croissant’. Croissant in French refers to the pastry, true, but first of all croissant is a shape – the moon shape. So it makes sense that a french croissant has a crescent shape. I believe that’s what it was named after.
I understand that the pastry was made from a ‘croissant dough’, so it’s still a croissant. But a pain au chocolat is also made out of a croissant dough, and that has a different name.
So I would expect it to be called maybe something along the lines of « rosemary and sea salt plait or torsade ».
Tell me, Chef!
Usually, I am quite easy going, not too critical about stuff, drama-free, but this time the name got me thinking and I was wondering whether I had a reason to be bothered by it. So I consulted my chef friend Khánh-Ly Huỳnh, the winner of Master Chef 2015 France and co-owner of the Hood Paris (follow her on Instagram @chef_lymalaya, she is really cool!).
She gave me a more technical answer and defined it as a “linguistic distortion”. She shared that the word “croissant” only designates a technique, which is a triangle that gets rolled several times and all pastries use the same puff pastry as a base. So it is an error to call all puff pastries “croissant”.
Anyway, no big deal, the taste is there and that’s the most important. Go for it! And the pain au chocolat is great and generous.
While I had the idea of writing this post, I also watched an American culinary show called ‘ugly delicious’ ran by the Chef/host David Chang, whose first episode discussed food authenticity, social values, what “pizza” really was, whether it was ok to tweak the recipe and still call it a pizza? Big topics! Feel free to comment/feedback, very much appreciated!
19 Prebend St,
London N1 8PF
Mon – Fri: 7.30am – 5.30am
Sat: 8.00am – 5.30pm
Sun: 8.30am – 5.30pm
Written by Lucia Chauvet