Ah, the humble croissant. The mere mention of this buttery treat often gets peoples' mouths salivating in anticipation, conjuring up images of leisurely afternoons in a Parisian cafe. Sadly, most North Americans are acquainted with the additive-laden croissants sold in the supermarkets and big chain cafes. Fresh Out of the Oven Croissant (aka Footo Croissant), new to Homer Street near the Vancouver Public Library, is hoping to familiarize Vancouverites with croissants as they were meant to be tasted.
As my teeth sink into an almond croissant inside the tiny shop, the light, delicate sweetness spreads across my taste buds. A construction worker across the road looks at me enviously, as I lick the icing sugar from my fingertips.
Brenda Yip graduated from the Pacific Institute of Culinary Arts
(PICA) on Granville Island. Her diminutive size belies a thorough
knowledge on the croissant making process, and the many hours needed
to prepare the pastry and refrigerate it over and over again to
preserve the flavour --- and never, ever to freeze it.
"Frozen croissants contain all sorts of chemicals, over 80 different
types of chemicals, most of which I can't even pronounce, even
artificial colouring," said Yip. "I'm not even sure why they'd put artificial
colour in croissants!"
Every item on her menu is made from fresh ingredients, free from
preservatives and artificial flavours. She points me to a bottle of
slightly pink Himalayan salt used in her baking, and and shows me the many layers of pastry in the croissants in front of me, explaining that mass-produced croissants wouldn't have layers like this.
The smell of the freshly baked croissants is the main draw of her newly-opened store, according to Yip -- customers stop by in the morning when they get a whiff of the buttery aroma coming from her store.
Footo's menu includes a variety of croissants that Yip says were
suggestions and requests from her customers -- this includes spinach and feta cheese, almond, chocolate and sun-dried tomato. She also serves a
variety of yogurts, and gourmet desserts, and teas. Yip plans to
expand her menu to include muffins, banana bread, more desserts and
home made soy bean milk.
"I'm a mother of two children, and I have to cook every day," said Yip. "I found a real love for creating croissants and making people happy with my food".
Brenda Yip's "Footo Delights" bakery is on 820 Homer St. Opening
hours Mon-Fri 7am-5pm Sat 9am-4pm. Croissant prices range from $2.00
to $3.75 (subject to change), and desserts are priced $1.75 to $2.50.
More information can be found here http://www.footodelights.com