January 07, 2020
Croissants are full of buttery goodness, making them totally unsuitable for vegans – until now. Times are (finally) changing, with this month marking the launch of not one, but two new vegan-friendly croissants on the high street.
Vegan Croissants?! Caffè Nero And Prets New Pastries Go Head-To-Head
For the 350,000 people who have pledged to take part in Veganuary and the 600,000 (and counting) full-time vegans in the UK, Pret and Caffè Nero have both launched vegan croissants with fruity jam centres to kickstart your morning with flaky bakey goodness.
But can they live up to the original buttery treat? Hungry HuffPosters rolled up their sleeves, put their best tastebuds forward and shared their verdicts.Caffè Nero, Vegan Raspberry Croissant, £1.95Baked freshly in store, Caffè Nero’s new vegan croissant is made in the same way as its fine butter croissant, with the same proofing and resting times. The butter has been replaced by a combination of natural oils, and the pastry is filled with a tangy raspberry jam and finished with a raspberry sugar glaze. Available from 8 January 2020.‘Crumbly and delicious. Would 10/10 buy again’Amy Packham, assistant Life editor
“If you get this, have it warm. You’ll want to scoff the whole thing. I was so distracted by the delicious berry topping and filling I completely forgot this was a vegan croissant. It doesn’t taste different to me – in fact, it’s one of the few vegan foods I’ve tried where I can taste no difference at all. This could be because the raspberry overpowers the flavour of the croissant a little, but that doesn’t matter to me. It’s crumbly and delicious – would 10/10 buy again.”
Rating: 5/5‘Surpasses expectations’Louise Whitbread, Finds reporter
“It’s warm, soft and I want to say buttery but as it’s vegan, there’s no dairy to be found. In my experience as a non-vegan, vegan alternatives of my favourite foods often fall short, but this has surpassed my expectations. It doesn’t taste different, the flaky texture is the same, and it looks exactly like my croissant from Pret. Eating it warm was like a sweet treat amidst the January blues.”
Rating: 5/5‘Pretty close in both texture and taste’Ramzy Alwakeel, News editor
“Even if this had been horrible, I’d have been excited by the prospect of a croissant vegans like me can actually eat. As it happens, it isn’t horrible at all – not quite as rich as the butter-based equivalent but the creamy pastry inside came pretty close in both texture and taste. It isn’t too greasy to handle, either (although the raspberry sugar glaze does make it look slightly like it had been salvaged from a crime scene), and it has a lightness sometimes absent from dairy-free baking. The jam inside tasted more like a doughnut filling than something that belongs in a croissant, so I’d probably have gone for a plain option had it existed, but a plant-based croissant is a Good Thing.
Rating: 4/5‘I couldn’t eat a whole one’Natasha Hinde, Life reporter
“I have to admit I was pretty sceptical that a vegan croissant could exist that didn’t resemble plaster of Paris in taste and texture, so I’m delighted to be proved wrong. Served warm, this croissant is exactly what Veganuary ordered – the pastry is light and crispy, but softer near the centre, where there’s a juicy, intensely rich raspberry filling. The top of the croissant is coated with a raspberry sugar glaze. The only downside for me is that it’s very sweet – I couldn’t eat a whole one, especially not for breakfast. But on the whole it’s a delicious pastry and I don’t miss the butter all.”
Rating: 4/5Pret, Vegan Very Berry Croissant, £1.70 The Very Berry Croissant uses margarine and sunflower oil to re-create the light texture of a traditional croissant. The pastry is filled with a sweet berry compote and finished with a sprinkling of sugar. It’s on sale at Pret and Veggie Pret shops nationwide from 7 January.‘It’s not a croissant, it’s a pastry’Amy Packham, assistant Life editor
“I LOVE the crunch on this one, it’s like it’s been cooked for a smidgen too long. Glazed with lots of sugar, it tastes great but is probably horrendously bad for us. The filling is delicious too. My main gripe? It’s not a croissant, it’s a pastry. It doesn’t even look like a croissant – unlike Nero’s. That being said, I’d still buy it (if I wanted a sugar rush).”
Rating: 3/5‘Delicious, moreish and a sweet treat’Louise Whitbread, Finds reporter
“This is a top tier dessert masquerading as a croissant. Laden with sugar and blackberry/raspberry jam, it’s delicious, moreish and a sweet treat. Flaky and warm, I will eat this everyday gladly. For a breakfast dish, it’s a bit much, but for a mid-afternoon snack or dessert to follow dinner, it’s a winner.”
Rating: 4/5‘The right texture once you get into it’Ramzy Alwakeel, News editor
“The Pret ‘croissant’ is definitely less deserving of the term than the Caffè Nero one – it looks more like a Danish, or like jam spread on a piece of toast with the corners folded in and the whole thing inexplicably baked. The primary taste is fruit. But it does have the right texture once you get into it, with thin layers of light pastry and a buttery flavour just about discernable through the raspberry. It’s a nice treat, and it’s FUN, and it’s really great to have vegan options in the bakery section instead of just sad overpriced squares of dark chocolate. A croissant it is not, but I’m ok with that if you are.”
Rating: 3/5‘Crispier and more densely packed’Natasha Hinde, Life reporter
“I really enjoyed this but wouldn’t recommend it for breakfast – unless you want to spend the morning coming down from the mother of all sugar crashes. The pastry wrap (I’m not sure I’d call it a croissant) is filled with a delicious, sweet jam that has a bit of a tang to it – thanks to the blackcurrant. The pastry is a lot crispier and more densely packed than Caffè Nero’s but delicious in its own right. It does feel slightly greasier though. Again, I manage to eat half of it before I have to grab myself a glass of water and have a break from the sweetness. I do wonder why both of the vegan croissants were so packed with sugar – is it masking the pastry’s lack of flavour? Would it be too dry without the jam filling? Who knows.”
Rating: 3.5/5Related... Burger King’s Plant-Based Burger Isn’t Actually Suitable For Vegans Greggs' Vegan Steak Bake Sparks Beef Over Meaty Name An Extensive List Of Your Vegan Lunch Options On The High Street – Tried And Tested We've Rounded Up All The New Vegan Foods In Supermarkets For Veganuary There's Now A Vegan Sausage With 'Skin' – So I Tried It Trying Veganuary? These 5 Simple Vegan Recipes Use Just 5 Ingredients Each
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Star Wars Director Says It's About Time A Woman Makes A Star Wars Movie
Jan 02, 2024
Oscar-winning documentary filmmaker Sharmeed Obaid-Chinoy is directing an upcoming Star Wars movie that brings back Daisy Ridley in the role of Rey. Obaid-Chinoy will become the first woman to direct a Star Wars film, dating back to the franchise's origins in the 1970s. Speaking about this, Obaid-Chinoy told CNN that she is "very thrilled" to make the movie and create something that is "very special.""We're in 2024 now, and I think it's about time we had a woman come forward to shape the story in a galaxy far, far away," she said.Obaid-Chinoy won Best Documentary, Short Subjects Academy Awards for Saving Face (2012) and A Girl in the River: The Price of Forgiveness (2015).In 2020, Lucasfilm boss Kathleen Kennedy told the BBC that a woman would eventually direct a Star Wars movie, saying that would "absolutely" happen, "without question." Victoria Mahoney was a second unit director on The Rise of Skywalker, but a woman has never claimed a top directing credit on a Star Wars movie.On the TV side of things, The Mandalorian has featured a number of female directors, including Deborah Chow and Bryce Dallas Howard. Chow went on to direct the Obi-Wan TV series, too.Another high-profile franchise that has never had a female director is James Bond. Producer Barbara Broccoli and Skyfall director Sam Mendes have both said they want to see a woman direct a future 007 film.As for Obaid-Chinoy's Star Wars movie, little is known about it apart from the fact that Ridley will come back to play Rey. It is expected that this film will be the first of the three new Star Wars films to come to theaters, possibly releasing in December 2025.According to a report, Peaky Blinders creator Steven Knight is writing the Rey movie, taking over for Damon Lindelof and Justin Britt-Gibson.
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NBA Names Clare Akamanzi CEO Of NBA Africa
Jan 02, 2024 15:29
The NBA named Clare Akamanzi – an accomplished business executive and international trade and investment lawyer – as CEO of NBA Africa. Akamanzi will start her position on Jan. 23, 2024, and report to NBA Deputy Commissioner and Chief Operating Officer Mark Tatum. In this role, Akamanzi will oversee the NBA’s business and basketball development efforts in Africa and will be responsible for continuing to grow the popularity of basketball, the NBA and the Basketball Africa League (BAL) across the continent, including through grassroots basketball development, media distribution, corporate partnerships, and social responsibility initiatives that improve the livelihoods of African youth and families. For the last six and a half years, Akamanzi was CEO of Rwanda Development Board (RDB), where she spearheaded Rwanda’s economic development by enabling private sector growth. Under Akamanzi’s leadership, RDB implemented several business policy reforms and initiatives that led to significant investment and development for the country, including through partnerships with the BAL, Arsenal FC, Paris Saint-Germain FC, FC Bayern Munich and TIME Magazine, among others. “Clare’s business acumen, international experience and familiarity with basketball and the NBA make her the ideal executive to lead our business in Africa,” says Tatum. “NBA Africa and the Basketball Africa League are well-positioned for continued growth, and under Clare’s leadership we believe these initiatives will transform economies, communities and lives across the continent.” “I’ve seen firsthand how sports can positively impact businesses, families and communities in Africa, and the NBA and the BAL are a perfect example of that,” says Akamanzi. “The NBA has done an incredible job growing basketball and the economy around it across the continent, and I’m excited about the enormous opportunities ahead to build on that momentum.” Previously, Akamanzi was Chief Operating Officer of RDB and Head of Strategy and Policy Unit, Office of the President of the Republic of Rwanda. She has extensive international trade, business and diplomatic experience, having previously worked for the Rwandan Government at the World Trade Organization in Geneva, Switzerland and at the Rwandan Embassy in London, England. Akamanzi has worked or studied in seven different countries and holds an honorary LLD from Concordia University in Montreal, Canada, in recognition of her work in Rwanda. She earned a master’s degree in public administration from Harvard University’s Kennedy School of Government in Cambridge, Massachusetts, where she was the recipient of three prestigious awards for academic excellence and distinguished contribution to the community: the Lucius N. Littauer Fellows Award, the Raymond & Josephine Vernon Award and the Robert Kennedy Public Service Award. In addition, Akamanzi holds a Master of Laws degree in international trade and investments from the University of Pretoria in South Africa, and a Bachelor of Laws degree from Makerere University in Kampala, Uganda. Akamanzi has served on several company boards, including the World Health Organization (WHO) Foundation, ECOBANK and Aviation, Travel and Logistics (ATL) company. She was recognized by Forbes as one of Africa’s Top 50 Powerful Women in 2020.
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