Why would anyone mess with perfection? And don't go telling me that perfection is relative or personal or whatever. Some things are perfect and there's no denying it.
Take the escargot au chocolat that could be bought at Jacques and Véronique Duguet's bakery in downtown Laval, across the street from the cathedral. It was not a piece of chocolate, but a pastry. Croissant dough formed into a snail shape, like a pain aux raisins, but with dark chocolate morsels instead of raisins. And a light, faint caress of pastry cream the chocolate clung to. So wonderful.
When we first moved to Laval, we lived a block away from that bakery. I've never been a baguette-a-day kind of girl, preferring rye or sourdough or spelt varieties, and even those not every day. But I quickly became a chocolate snail every day kind of girl. Until I realized my metabolism couldn't keep up. So I cut down to once a week, on sunday morning. My special sunday treat.
Well, Jacques and Véronique got tired of their situation. A baker's hours are, to be fair, difficult. The bakery opened at 7:00 every morning except wednesdays, but Jacques started work at 3 and Véronique not much later.
So they sold their bakery to M et Mme Moise-Derval, who have a pastry shop on the other side of town. That's life, right?
Well, it would be if they had not changed the chocolate snail.
They have replaced the croissant dough with pain au lait dough (which is a bit like brioche dough but denser). Which has RUINED the snail.
I have nothing against pain au lait. It's good for some things. Spreading with jam or nutella or caramel. It does not, however, have a place in a chocolate snail.
The strange thing is, I've been to their pastry shop across town. It's quite good. Their chocolates are excellent, made only with cacao butter (no soy lecthicin or other such nastiness that doesn't belong in chocolate), they make excellent cakes and pies, and they sell the only ciabatta to be had in Laval.
So I cannot even imagine what possessed them to change the chocolate snail. If they wanted to differentiate themselves, they could've found a much more positive way to do it.