A recent conversation between employees at Gizmodo (a science and technology website) has led to an ongoing dialogue about the value of pastries.
More specifically, my esteemed colleagues discussed — and have continued to discuss on various occasions — what qualifies as the most overrated among these not-quite-a-meal “treats.” To be clear, most pastries are bullshit, both conceptually and in terms of actual taste. [Ed. Note: !!!] But identifying the most bullshit pastry has divided staffers — some of whom I even respected before hearing their bad pastry takes.
What’s important to remember is that we are not talking about the worst pastries. Here we are discussing dough treats that disappoint relative to the clout they generally enjoy, pastries that some might even mistakenly characterise as “good.” These baked goods needn’t be expensive nor bad (though some are), they just have to make you wish you had picked another, more satisfying food item when picked from, say, a sumptuous breakfast spread. The pastry experiences that promise the most and deliver the least, basically.
Let’s begin, moving from somewhat overrated to shockingly, unbelievably overrated.
A croissant can, on occasion, be an absolute delight. But most of the time, they taste like arse and are unnecessarily difficult to actually enjoy. This breakfast bread is extremely greasy, messy, and often takes like a slightly warmed stick of butter. It’s a pastry that’s nice in theory, but an utter disappointment in practice.
6. American Scones
Why on Earth are scones sold in servings equal to a Texas-sized slice of pie when in reality you need exactly two (2) bites of one before you meet your scone-craving quota? A miniature scone is exactly the right amount of this normally heavy, often crumby (bad!) treat for any one person. But a whole-arse scone for a single person? Hell no!
Stop it. Your pastry is doing too much. If you want a doughnut, have a doughnut. If you want a croissant, have a croissant, dumbass. But you absolutely do not need this unholy bakery chimera for any reason at any time. We do not need food to do gimmicks.
Why the fuck are these so expensive? Pastries that come saddled with buyer’s remorse should absolutely be illegal. Eat shit, tiny cookie.
A mess! Why eat this when you will almost certainly find yourself encircled by a litter of tiny cannoli pieces that failed to make their way into your mouth in the end? I’m pretty sure “cannoli” is Italian for “a small army of missed opportunities and regret.”
2. Oatmeal Raisin Cookies
Why the raisins? As my colleague Beth Elderkin correctly observed, “It’s trail mix with dough.” Garbage! Trash! Just eat a fucking cookie!
1. Chocolate Croissant
One of the only things more overrated than a croissant — and I cannot stress this enough — is a butter dough that believes it has improved itself with the addition of small chips of chocolate. Why do this? Why make an objectively boring pastry somehow more boring with the addition of an ingredient like chocolate, which inevitably forms an indigestible slab that lies like a corpse insie this flaky coffin of sadness?
I will note, however, that Gizmodo’s acting editor-in-chief Andrew Couts as well as its managing editor Kaitlyn Jakola — both of whom technically employ me — disagree. In fact, Kaitlyn asked to be quoted as saying “you’re 100% wrong.”
No matter, though, I have the support of my friends in my corner.