National Croissant Day

For once I felt I couldn’t let this day go unremarked. Think France, think croissants. The two are inextricably entwined, aren’t they? The flaky, buttery delicious crescent-shaped pastry called a croissant is a French icon and yet……. it isn’t truly French.

History of the croissant

History has it that croissants originated in Austria. There are several stories, none of which can be fully substantiated. Allegedly, while Austria was at war with Turkey in the late 1600s, a baker working late at night heard the Turkish soldiers tunnelling under the walls of the city of Vienna and alerted the Austrian guard. They collapsed the tunnel which saved the city and the baker in a moment of genius created a pastry from bread dough in the shape of a crescent moon, the emblem of the Turkish empire. It is said that he intended that when his customers bit into the pastry, they would be symbolically devouring their enemies. He called his creation a kipfel, the German word for croissant. However, historians say that there is written evidence that the kipfel was being made as far back as 13th century……..

A legend is born

A later story is that Marie-Antoinette bought the kipfel to France from her Austrian homeland. Feeling homesick, she commanded the royal bakers to make the pastry for her. Unlike the bread dough that the Austrian version was made by layering the dough with butter, then rolled and folded several times in succession, before being rolled into a thin sheet. A technique called laminating. The process results in a layered, flaky texture, similar to a puff pastry. An unlikely story but, a legend was born…………

Yet another tale, and far more likely, claims that an Austrian artillery officer named August Zang founded the “Boulangerie Viennoise” at 92, rue de Richelieu in Paris in the 1830s. He brought the recipe for kipfels with him and it became popular with his customers. By 1872 Charles Dickens, who had travelled across France, mentioned the croissant as a French breakfast staple. Paris.

In the early twentieth century, French bakers improved on the recipe by making it from even more layers of deliciously buttered puff pastry. The croissant we all know and love was born. When you’re in France, look for the fait maison sign which indicates breads and pastries are handmade on site. There are even annual contests to find the regional baker making the best croissants.

These are my favourites from one of our many local bakeries.

Wherever you are, just ask the locals for their tips on where to buy your croissant – they’ll always have an opinion!

74 Comments on “National Croissant Day

  1. ♡ Beautifully Done Control Freak; at The Very Least YOU!!! should be a Magistrate or preferably a JUDGE!!!

    …♡♡♡…

    Liked by 1 person

  2. A few years ago we had a little holiday in France staying in two places. The first was a lovely b&b with a view of Mont-Saint-Michel and beautifully laid out breakfast buffet with a different selection each morning for the several groups of guests. The second place was a farmhouse with us the only guests staying in a barn conversion – each morning we crossed the yard to sit in their kitchen for bowls of coffee and croissants. At neither place did they speak English so we had a genuine experience! Petit dejeuner to remember.

    Liked by 2 people

  3. Interesting history! In Italy we have the cornetto, which is basically a less buttery croissant often filled with jam, cream or chocolate. I prefer the plain ones, but it doesn’t compare to French croissants.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Hurrah. By coincidence, my daughter and I had ham and cheese croissants for lunch today.
    Where we stayed in Avignon, the owner gave us croissants for breakfast. They were the biggest I have ever seen and were just soooo lovely 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  5. National Croissant Day

    On Saturday, January 30, 2021, View from the Back wrote:

    > Sheree posted: “For once I felt I couldn’t let this day go unremarked. > Think France, think croissants. The two are inextricably entwined, aren’t > they? The flaky, buttery delicious crescent-shaped pastry called a > croissant is a French icon and yet……. it isn’t truly Fren” >

    Liked by 1 person

  6. I’m sure what we normally get around here are far from the real deal, but I do enjoy them. I think they are one of the best pastries on the planet.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. It’s hard to get great croissants here, but I keep trying. 😉 Is sacrilegious to say I like mine with either almond paste or chocolate filling?

    Liked by 1 person

  8. My daughter has one of those calendars that tells you what each day is dedicated to, so I knew about croissant day. Yes, we did get some, but they were store bought and I’m sure nowehere near as tasty as the one pictured here.

    Liked by 1 person

  9. Pingback: La Chandeleur – crêpes all round! – View from the Back

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