In addition to beef bourguignon or baguette, the croissant is one of the most important gastronomic symbols of France. It is most often eaten during French breakfast. The love for this pastry remains intact and is passed on from generation to generation.
The fascinating history of the French croissant
The first croissants originated in Vienna, the capital of Austria. During the Ottoman siege of the city in 1683, a young Pole managed to infiltrate the Ottoman army and gather valuable information about the enemy. Thanks to this information and to the reinforcements coming from the Polish army, the Austrians were victorious over the Ottomans. The latter fled, leaving behind them weapons and provisions, including several bags of coffee. These bags were given to the young Pole as a reward for his bravery. He decided to open a bakery in Vienna. For the record, the word “Viennese” comes from the word “Vienna”. It was in this bakery that a new pastry called “croissant” was born. The baker was inspired by the symbol on the Turkish flag as a symbol of victory. The croissant was later introduced to France by Queen Marie-Antoinette when she married King Louis XVI. For information, the word “viennoiserie” comes from the word “Vienne”.
The croissant symbolises the French art of living
The croissant is the most consumed Viennese pastry in France, just ahead of chocolate and the baguette. According to a recent survey on French eating habits, working-class people and households with children eat the most croissants, five to six days a week. There are several sellers of croissants, but the preferred place to buy them is the bakery. After that come supermarkets and hypermarkets. When asked about the reason for such a craze for this pastry, households say they love the croissant for the delicious taste of the dough (made from egg and butter ingredients), its freshness and finally its affordable price.
The croissant complements the baguette at breakfast
France is famous for its baguette de pain, accompanied by a hot drink (a bowl of hot chocolate in most cases) for breakfast. For variety, the alternative to the baguette is the croissant, and to a lesser extent the raisin bread. It can also be eaten as an afternoon snack, which is very common among young children and teenagers. There are many types of French croissants, but the most popular is the butter croissant.