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Kouign Amann in Vancouver

Gentle readers, meet my newest obsession, the Kouign Amann. 

If you’ve never heard of this deliciousness, two things: I am sad for you, and go remedy the situation and get some now! 

Kougin Amann

The Kouign Amann hails from the Brittnay region of France, which is almost a peninsula, surrounded by water on three sides. Known for its pinkish beaches and ancient standing stones, it’s about 400 km from Paris. It’s actually quite close to the UK (which maybe explains the name). In terms of food, the area is famous for seafood (makes sense), crepes, and this fantastic confection: the Kouign Amann. 

It’s a little like a croissant (to find out who has my favourite croissant in the city, click here). The dough is created using lamination, which folds sheets of butter into the dough (which is how you make croissants). But this dough includes sugar as well, making it sweeter than your average croissant, and also creating a crispy, caramelized, almost brullééd crust. They are baked in round tins, which is what gives them the distinct round shape, unlike the crescent-shaped croissants. 

So, picture soft, buttery dough with a sweet, crunchy shell. That, my friends, is Kouign Amann. 

Inside cross-section of a Kougin Amann showing layers

There are a few places here in Vancouver where they are available, though they are much harder to find than croissants. 

Kouign Amann in Vancouver

Angus T: this was the first place I ever had a Kouign amann, and man, was my mind blown! Yaleown’s Angus T serves nothing but croissants, so you’d assume, rightly, that they make them well. The Kouign Amann here is baked in such a way that it has these lovely “leaves” that sprout up out of the pan. 

Kougin Amann

The Bench Bakehouse: this may be my favourite Kouign Amann in Vancouver. The Bench opened in January, 2019 on Commercial Dr, and the husband-wife team that run it trained in both Paris and San Francisco, so they are legit. It’s buttery, it’s soft, it’s crunchy… they finish it with a sprinkle of fleur de sel… it’s a party in your mouth.

Kougin Amann

Beaucoup: what makes the Beaucoup Kouign Amann distinctive is its punchy cardamom flavour. This is not traditional, but if you’re a fan of that warm spice, you’ll like this one. 

Kougin Amann

Nemesis: Nemesis is one of my go-to coffee joints when I want to get out and write where there are people. It’s bright and clean, and the coffee and snacks are good. I have to get the Kouign Amann when I’m there to dip in my coffee. It’s so, so good.  

Kougin Amann

Batard: If you’re a regular reader of this blog, you’ll know that Batard makes my favourite croissant in the city. Their Kouign Amann is also good. Maybe order both??? 

Okay! What have I missed? Share with me below where you find Kouign Amann in Vancouver and I’ll add it to my list! 

Let’s talk Collagen Supplements

Confession: I’m not 20. I am, in fact, not even in my 30’s, and pretty soon, I won’t even  be in my 40’s. 

Aging is one of those things I’m beginning to think about, and how my body is changing, which includes how my skin is changing. 

I’m blessed with good genes (I think?), and I’ve been pretty religious about sunscreen ever since I was in my 20’s, so I don’t feel like my face is looking old. But I’m still thinking about ways to stave off wrinkles and sagging. 

I’ve been reading a lot lately about supplementing with collagen. 

First of all, collagen is one of those things that we as humans manufacture our selves. It’s a protein–not just a protein, but the most popular protein in our bodies. It has a variety of different uses, from helping to strengthen bones to lubricating our joints, and yes, there is some talk that collagen can help our skin to be more elastic and, well, younger. 

The problem is, as we age, we begin to manufacture less of it naturally, hence the reason people start to think about supplementing at some point. 

The problem with collagen supplements is this: there is no truly vegan or vegetarian collagen supplement. All collagen supplements are made from either animals or fish. 

You know how bone broth is so popular right now? Bone broth is made by essentially taking animal bones and boiling them down for a long time. The extraction of that broth is collagen, and then you drink it. 

Vegan and vegetarian collagen supplements 

Herbaland Gummies, a local company that I really like, has recently launched a vegan collagen supplement. It doesn’t contain any actual collagen (because, again, all collagen comes from animals) but it does contain Lysine and Vitamin A, which are collagen building blocks. 

Also, my friend Desiree Neilsen (who has a new cookbook coming, btw!) has written a whole blog post about plant-based foods to include in your diet that will help encourage collagen production. 

Non-vegetarian collagen supplements

If you’re okay with eating fish, then choose a marine collagen. 

Here are a couple I tried: 

Genuine Health Marine Clean Collagen: $26.99 for 210g

This version offers 10g of collagen per serving, and it basically comes a white powder, which you can stir into smoothies, your coffee, etc. The supplement is made from wild-caught fish (not farmed), and basically made from what would normally be waste, like fish skins. 

BenesseHealth Pure Marine Collagen: $41.99 for 150g

 

One thing I really like about this particular brand is that they are a local BC company. The collagen is single-sourced from wild-caught Atlantic cod skins, which is a sustainable product. 

I have to say, I was not a fan of the Genuine Health. It doesn’t dissolve readily. You almost need to put it into a blender it order for it to really work. The BenesseHealth dissolved amazingly well–I didn’t even have to stir it. There was no taste. 

Aura Elevated Collagen Creamer with MCT: $36.82 for 300g

Aura is also a local BC-based biz (yay local!), and what’s great about this particular supplement is that if you’re already on the paleo path, and doing things like bulletproof coffee, this one will likely be for you. It works as a coffee creamer (though I find I like my coffee lighter than it can make mine, so I would end up adding more milk), so all you have to do is add a scoop or two to your morning java. The supplement not only contains collagen, but it also contains MCT, which has been shown to help with brain function. It dissolves well in coffee. It’s important to note, however, that this collagen supplement is not a marine one, meaning it’s made from animals. This would be an appropriate choice if you are an omnivore. 

I would love to hear from you! Are you experimenting with collagen supplements? Please comment below! 

 

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