Well, at least they didn't give it some lame-ass portmanteau. H-E-B's newest food creation, the "pretzel croissant" is pretty much what the name implies. Though I will say that when I first saw the sign advertising their new product I envisioned a croissant in a pretzel shape, rather than vice-versa.
This is not the first time the chain has played around with either the soft pretzel or croissant. This past year, the grocery store began to offer pretzel rolls and buns semi-regularly, as well as whole-wheat croissants and glazed croissants (in the donut case).
And, unless you've been hibernating, I don't need to tell you about the cronut, the ultimate croissant hybrid, which some hypothesize exemplifies a cultural trend toward "combo" baked goods as an efficient way to satisfy multiple flavor cravings simultaneously.
Shrewd H-E-B capitalizes on the curiosity of baked-good devotees and does not enable you to purchase individual pretzel croissants, only packages of four (for $3). I did ask the bakery manager on site if I could buy just one (hoping he would offer to split up the package) and he apologized and declined my request. "I'm sorry, I don't have a SKU number for just one," he said smiling. Um, make one up?, I thought.
So, I caved and bought a four-pack. When I tried the pretzel croissant later that afternoon, I was overwhelmed by the powerful dual (dueling?) notes of butter and salt. H-E-B did manage to produce a carbohydrate hybrid child that equally represents the major flavors of its parents with secondary tasting notes of malt. The texture of the pretzel croissant is chewier and less flaky than your average regular croissant, which means in my case I am not able to wolf it down as quickly. I consider that a disadvantage.
Because of its strong savory components, the pretzel croissant is not the ideal partner for sweet spreads such as jam or nutella. Rather, I would recommend using it as base for chicken salad or an egg and cheese breakfast sandwich.
What's next in the world of croissants? I vote for double-butter croissants dipped in milk chocolate.