Appreciated for breakfast, the croissants are widely consumed in France. But where does it really come from ?

croissants
cedric Grolet bakery in Paris

The most frenchy pastry

The croissant was created in 1683 in Vienna where the Turks were based at that time. While the troops of the Ottoman Empire decided to attack at night so as not to be noticed, a Viennese baker (Adam Spiel) up before dawn gave the alert, the assault was repelled and the city saved. It is to immortalize this victory that the bakers of the city made the « Hörnchen » (little horn in German) whose shape recalls the symbol of the Ottoman flag. The pastry subsequently became very popular in Vienna, but under a different recipe from that consumed today. Indeed puff pastry had not yet been invented, the croissants of this time are made of slightly improved bread dough.

croissants

Popularized by Marie-Antoinette

This is how this pastry was born, whose history is closely linked to that of the Turks ! But what does this have to do with Paris, the city that traditionally has the best croissants ? In France, it would be Marie-Antoinette of Austria, originally from Vienna, who officially introduced and popularized the croissant in Paris. Louis XVI’s wife brought it back in her luggage, along with other Viennese specialties, hence the name Viennese pastries. In the 1830s, two Austrians, August Zang and Ernest Schwarzer, opened « La boulangerie viennoise » in Paris, rue de Richelieu, where they sold croissants and other Viennese specialties. The products have a wide success and inspire imitators who contribute to the distribution of these « pastries ». The first recipe for a puff pastry croissant was published in France for the first time in 1905 and it was not until the 1920s that this « viennoiserie » met with success. The croissant is now an essential pastry in all French bakeries.

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