This photograph should fill you with dread. Stephen King could not imagine such horror. If he did, his publisher would suggest he tone it down a bit before publication. Perhaps release the book wrapped in foil with a warning stamped on it.
Make no mistake. This croissant is a fiend.
This is its story.
I don’t wash my car very often. Occasionally, though, I get the urge. This usually happens when the pockets in the doors need emptying of ice cream wrappers and sundry other discarded food packaging, and the dashboard is covered in a layer of grey fluff – the origins of which remain a mystery to me.
This past weekend, the passion struck. I spent a pleasant few hours sprucing up the family cart. Inside and out.
Now, the underside of the front passenger seat is a notorious receptacle of cast-off tat in our car. The source is typically the eight-year-old who sits in the seat just behind it. Not surprisingly, a root around yielded some abandoned treasure: a bottle of water (half full), a plastic magazine wrapper (empty) and a plastic carton containing a single chocolate-sprinkled croissant.
I recognised the croissant. I’d bought it with its sibling at Tesco in Midleton, Co. Cork, on 1st July on my way to film at Sage Restaurant – almost two months ago. I’d eaten one (I remember it was quite unpleasant) and abandoned the other. Somehow, the carton ended up under the passenger seat.
There it sat for weeks, day in, day out. It endured one of the hottest months in recent memory. Quietly, it moulded away.
Except it didn’t.
In two months, it went a little stale. That’s all.
No mould. No decomposition. Nothing other than a little shrivel here and there.
That’s the kind of preservation the ancient Egyptians would have been proud of. The mind boggles. What is Tesco putting into its croissants to achieve this? Have their alchemists discovered some sort of Elixir of Life that they’re trialling in their bakery section?
Perhaps it is the peculiar microclimate beneath the passenger seat in my car that has helped preserve the pastry?
The chemicals in my body
And then it occured to me. Whatever devil’s ingredient went into preserving this croissant was also inside its twin. And I ate it.
With the kind of longevity we’re talking about here, I can’t even be sure I’ve digested the blessed thing. It could be lingering, impervious the digestive chemicals my body has unleashed on it.
I’m thinking of getting an X-ray taken.
At the same time, I’m wondering whether the consumption of such preservative fare will extend my life. Perhaps I shall witness the next transit of Venus? I fear the opposite, though. This cannot be healthy.
Yes, I acknowledge that even the finest croissants made from the best butter and sprinkled with organic chocolate are going to give you health problems – if you eat enough of them. But for a croissant to survive so unaltered for such a long time is worrying. Or is it? Maybe someone can tell me that croissants are naturally long living. The better preserved, the better the original natural ingredients. In which case, I’ll shut up.
I doubt it, though. Don’t you?
The ongoing Tesco croissant experiment
I don’t know about you, but I’m curious to see how long it takes before Croissanzilla starts to decompose. So, by way of experiment, I’ve reinstated it in its plastic packaging under the front passenger seat in the car. I’ll have a weekly look and let you know how we’re getting on.
In the meantime, I shall steer clear of supermarket croissants.