I stopped about Bouchon and to my surprise, they had kougin amann! I guess it’s the new popular trendy pastry, so I bought two. (And a strawberry croissant, on the left in the picture below:)
It was like a croissant with more butter and lots of crispy caramelized sugar. I could only eat about half of it before pretty freakin’ full. So I bought my mom the other one… It turns out that my parents had been reading an article about them. This morning, I woke up to my dad returning to the farmers market where he bought more kougin amann from Starter Bakery. True to form, I thought I’d compare the two —
Bouchon on the left (My dad already took a couple bites out of it), Starter Bakery on the right. (Plain above, pear below) The Bouchon one is significantly bigger. And the sugar is much darker.
The Starter Bakery kougin amann is a really pretty golden brown with visible layers and filling. (this one is pear)
Starter Bakery on the left, Bouchon on the right. Bouchon’s is much fluffier and croissant like. Starter Bakery is more dense, but equally buttery and sugary.
Conclusion: I prefer Bouchon’s. It’s fluffier and the sugar is more caramelized, making the flavors more complex. Also, it’s bigger. But, Starter Bakery is way more accessible, being in Oakland and not in Napa or Vegas. Also Starter Bakery has some with fillings! I’m definitely not complaining if Starter Bakery’s kougin amann showed up on my doorstep everyday.
Also, footnote, I tried toasting one of the Starter Bakery ones and it was super soft and warm, but fell apart more than I would have liked and lost it’s sugary crisp. Also, it was greasier. But both my parents preferred it toasted. I guess my tastes are weird.