As some of you may know via that wonderfully endless portal of information Twitter, I recently had the opportunity to be a judge at Cape Town’s very first bacon croissant competition organised at a moment’s notice by the folk over at Eat In. Not to be confused with a bacon croissant eating competition, which I would gladly have offered my services for as well!
Upon arrival at the New Media Publishing offices in Bree Street, I was immediately made to feel super-duper important in my honorable judging capacity by the lovely executive editor Anelde Greeff & introduced to my fellow judging compadres, Fleabeke & The Foodie. Whilst we were all getting acquainted (and patting each other on the back for scoring such a wicked gig), the chefs from Jardine Bakery, Rcaffe & The Taj came in with their freshly baked stars of the show! Not being allowed to see the goods before we judged them, they were whisked away into the boardroom & each competitors goods were set up for a blind tasting, so that none of the judges knew whose croissant they’d be eating. Fair’s fair people.
We were ushered in, and took our seats in front of all the contestants & a row of still-warm croissants & steaming coffee. *Moment of gloating. Sigh. Okay. Done* Coffee & croissants first thing in the morning? Fine, but bacon croissants? Heaven! The competition was stiff – The Taj had great texture, and got those lovely crispy layers spot on, yet there was not a whiff or hint of bacon (think they missed that memo), which was totally disappointing. Rcaffe had a good flavour, with chopped up bits of bacon in theirs, but their pastry was more shortcrust-like than croissant-like. Jardine hit the nail on the head & delivered great texture with a hunk-a-chunk piece of smokey, salty back bacon in the middle of theirs.
The results were more of a formality after the tasting (and much umming and ahhing and omnomnomnoming), and Jardine Bakery came out tops! The runners-up were great sports, and took their places gracefully on the podium beside the big kahuna, Jason from Jardine.
It was a fun morning all round, and the first I hope of many similar challenges – it’s a great way to get exposure to those smaller establishments that perhaps don’t have the marketing footprint or consumer following just yet. All I know is, today Jardine bakery were sold out of bacon croissants by mid-morning, all thanks to this little adventure. Snaps to the awesome folk at Eat In for putting together such a great event & congrats again to the participants – y’all are awesome!