It is likely that when you think of the croissant you also think of France, but did you know that it is actually a bun whose origin is not from that country? We discover what it is and where it comes from.
If we name you the word croissant, it is quite likely that France will come to mind, and then the succulent image of a mountain of these popular crescent-shaped buns that can be eaten alone or filled with different ingredients, among which pastry creams stand out, chocolate or fruit jams.
It can even be simply split in half and spread its halves with butter and jam, thus becoming an equally popular breakfast not only in France but also in our country.
It basically consists of a kind of puff pastry that has a crescent shape (and not a round shape as it would traditionally correspond to this type of sweets). It is usually made with puff pastry, yeast and butter.
It can be salty or sweet. In fact, in the sweet options the most common thing is to add a kind of sweet jelly on top, which is what then gives it that bright and shiny appearance so deliciously characteristic.
Where does the croissant really come from?
Although the word croissant actually comes from France, and it means ‘crescent‘ in the sense of ‘crescent moon‘ because of the shape of the bun, the truth is that its origin is not found in France.
In fact, some versions date its birth to the city of Vienna, specifically to the year 1683, when the Ottoman soldiers under the command of the Grand Vizier Kara Mustafa conquered most of the regions on the banks of the Danube and besieged Vienna.
Since this siege lasted too long, the general in turn thought that he could enter the city by land, trying below it after digging a tunnel during the night. This way there would be no reaction time.
That is how the plan was officially launched, but they did not have a guild that always works at night: the bakers. When they heard strange noises coming from the subsoil, they raised the alarm and finally the invading army had to retreat.
In order to celebrate the victory, the bakers created a kind of half-moon-shaped bun adopting the symbol of the Ottoman Empire, which they christened the ‘Lune Croissant’.
This is a version, because there is also another much less known that places its origin in Austria, specifically in a convent. Apparently, some nuns of the same elaborated some species of buns or buns in the shape of goat’s horn.
And if we investigate a little more we also find another legend in which the invention is located at the hands of Franz Georg Kolschitzky, a businessman of Polish origin installed in Vienna. As it is said, he was able to break through the Ottoman army encirclement in order to meet Carlos V of Lorraine and thus inform him of the military situation.
After returning to the interior of the city, he convinced the authorities to persist in their resistance. Finally, with the victory of Vienna, he served coffee for the first time accompanied by crescent-shaped pastries called Kipferi.
However, what is certain is that the croissant did officially arrive in France at the end of the 18th century, from where it later spread to the rest of the world.