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5 Interesting Facts about Croissants You Should Know

Croissants are a delectable breakfast choice and they are commonly likened to a taste of heaven when prepared right. However, despite their popularity, there are some lesser-known facts you probably don’t know about them.

By Cookist
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The croissant (pronounced “kwa-son”) has been around since the 19th century as an integral part of breakfast in various countries and with different variations in fillings and toppings. Keep reading to learn more about this lovely pastry. Some of the following facts will surprise you.

1. Croissants evolved from the Kipferl

According to culinary experts, the prototype of the modern-day croissant is the “kipferl.” It first appeared in Austria in the 13th century. Kipferl are small, curved, sweet pastries usually made out of yeast dough. They taste more like bread rolls, but due to the lack of lamination, they don’t possess the characteristic flaky texture of croissants.

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2. Croissant’s origin is a great food legend

The history of croissants is truly the stuff of legend.  One often-told story claims that a Viennese baker created the croissant after the city defeated the Ottoman army at the Battle of Vienna in 1683. In celebration of the victory, the baker created a special pastry in the shape of a crescent moon, a symbol of Islam and the Ottoman flag. Thus, every bite of the pastry would be a symbolic expression of the Ottoman’s crushing defeat.

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3. Marie Antoinette did not introduce croissants to France 

Popular legend claims Marie Antoinette (1755-1793) introduced the kipferl, and thus the croissant, to France. Reports claim she was homesick for the taste of her native Vienna after her marriage to King Louis XVI of France. So she introduced the kipferl to Versailles when she asked the court bakers to make her the sweet pastry. Food historians dispute this fact as they believe croissants only became popular in France during the 19th century.

4. An Austrian entrepreneur popularized croissants in France 

Historical evidence points to Austrian entrepreneur August Zang as the one responsible for introducing and popularizing the kipferl, the prototype of the modern-day croissant, to France. He opened the first Vietnamese bakery in Paris in 1838.

The upscale boulangerie specialized in bread and pastries from his native Vienna, especially the kipferl. The kipferl quickly became popular, and many inspired French imitators. As they became more common, the French began referring to them as croissants because of their crescent shape.

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5. The French croissant recipe only requires eight ingredients 

Eight ingredients go into making a classic

French butter croissant (croissant au beurre).

They include:

  • butter
  • flour
  • water
  • milk
  • yeast
  • sugar
  • salt
  • eggs

Conclusion 

There are many more interesting facts about croissants but we'll leave it at this for now. In the meantime, you can try out a croissant (if you have never had one) and decide if it's worth the hype.

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