Every now and then, I encounter a food invention that blows my mind. Like the wood-fired garlic knot at Milo & Olive in Santa Monica. Or the healthy toast at La Baguette in Revelstoke.
All the better when this discovery is completely serendipitous, at a place I don’t know exists until I walk in the front door.
Welcome to French 50 Bakery, at the edge of downtown Okotoks in southern Alberta. It’s attached to Bistro 1882 French restaurant, in an historic former post office, its exterior clad in pressed tin.
French 50 is kind of like a pop-up restaurant, open only on Saturdays, although doing a brisk online, pick-up business. Owners Marie and Brad bake a range of fabulous, crusty sourdough breads, such as the pain campagne, a whole wheat naturally raised loaf that I order.
What catches my eye is a display case of delectable sweet treats: a chocolate ginger scone, a pain au chocolate and various pandans and caneles. Just look at the mouth-watering picture below.
But then my decision is instantly made for me. It’s a mixed-berry cross between a croissant and a muffin, quite naturally called a cruffin. Why have I never seen this before?
The taste lives up to the visual promise: the shattering lightness of a croissant, the moist density of a muffin and the sweet flavour burst of berries. Worth every penny of the $4.50 cost.
After I wolf the cruffin down on the spot, my server picks up a napkin and gently asks, “Would you like to me to wipe those spots off your face?”
French 50 Bakery
52 North Railway Street, Okotoks, Alberta
Saturdays only 8 am-1 pm