Known for its characteristic crescent shape, croissant is a delicious French pastry. The term “croissant” refers to “crescent or half moon shape”. This scrumptious delight is made with puff pastry, dough is layered with butter, rolled and folded several folds before finally rolling it to crescent shape. Then, it is glazed with butter and baked and served with strawberry jam on the side. Layers and layers, covered in jam and glazed with butter, everyone loves croissant. People enjoy it while sipping coffee and sometimes smoother it with Nutella to enhance the taste. Here, in this article, we have covered some amazing and interesting facts about croissant that you probably didn't know before.
10 interesting facts about croissant you shouldn’t miss!
1. Croissant originated in Austria!
The credit to introduce this delicacy goes to Austrian bakers. It is said that in 1963, the Turkish attempted to invade Vienna. The plan was to dig underground tunnels in Vienna. However, the Vienna’s bakers, who worked in the basements, heard the digging and alarmed the army. Thus, they saved the city in time. After the battle was over, bakers were honored for their courage. In order to celebrate their victory, baker’s baked crescent shaped pastries. Crescent symbolizes the Ottoman or Turkish Empire.
Initially, the croissants were known as “kipferl”.
2. Croissant became French national product in 1920!
The credit for bringing croissant to France goes to an Austrian artillery officer, August Zang. He opened his own Viennese bakery in Paris in 1939. The French loved these “exquisite crisp rolls”. On the other hand, some suggest that it was actually Marie Antoinette who brought croissant to France. You can read more about it in the book “August Zang and the French Croissant- How Viennoiserie came to France.”
Famous food historian Jim Chevallier, the author of this book, wrote all about the whole kipferl- croissant journey.
Traditionally, croissant was served at breakfast with frangipane, chocolate stuffing, jam or butter filling. Another of interesting facts about croissant here! It was believe to be “the bread of fantasy and luxury” as it was popular among people of upper class. However, it slowly became famous among middle class. The bakers gradually introduced croissant sandwiches. They started using a range of creamy stuffing and traditional sweet fillings. Moreover, they introduced many savory versions stuffed with cheese, ham, tomatoes etc.
As its popularity grew, Croissant became the French national product in 1920. According to the French dictionary croissant is:
“Pâtisserie en pâte levée puis feuilletée et roulée en forme de croissant de lune”
Meaning: “Leavened puff pastry dough rolled in the shape of a crescent moon”.
3. The key ingredients of French croissant recipe!
There are only eight ingredients of classic French croissant. These include:
This was the reason that initially croissant became famous in upper class, because only the rich could afford these ingredients.
4. The art of folding croissant – laminating!
Laminating is the basic technique of skillfully folding the dough. The process of laminating is the reason behind its crispy, airy and crunchy layers. Ideally, the croissant should be golden brown, crispy and flaky on the outside. At the inside, it should be soft and airy with honeycomb like appearance. Last but not the least; it should be buttery and rich in taste but not too greasy.
Here is another of interesting facts about croissant! It has numerous layers. Typically, a classic French croissant has 55 layers with 27 layers of butter. For the purpose, the bakers fold croissant dough into thirds at each turn. Then, they spread and fold it again into third and repeat for a total of 3 or 4 turns. Every time, they fold the dough, it adds up more layers.
5. How many calories in croissant!?
There are approximately 406 calories per 100 grams of croissant. It contains saturated fat, carbohydrates, cholesterol, sodium, potassium etc.
6. In late 20th century, croissant became a fast food!
The American baked-goods corporation “Sara Lee” introduced a frozen croissant in market in 1981. The idea of croissants as fast food was quickly accepted. Several other food chains such as Burger King and Mac also introduced croissant breakfast sandwiches. Thus, the croissant became an adored fast food.
Today, about 50% of croissants are not baked. Rather, the restaurants and cafes purchase frozen products and then bake on site.
7. The modern-day French croissant recipe was created in 1900s!
The croissants we know today, tasted nothing like the original ones. Earlier, when this delicacy was introduced in France, it was regarded as the Austrian–Viennese kipfel. It was known as “Viennoiserie” meaning “the thing of Vienna”. It was in late 1900’s when the French bakers introduced their own recipe of croissant. French croissant is made with leavened puffed pastry dough. Moreover, croissants of this recipe are richer in taste, have buttery flavor and flaky texture. Thus, it’s unique and different from the Austrian Kipfel.
8. French organize regional and national level Croissant Competitions!
You can guess the popularity of croissant in France by the fact that the French held annual croissant competitions. The bakers from all over the France participate in such competitions to show case their croissant making skills and talents.
In 2019, the Lionel Bonnamy’s bakery La Fabrique aux gourmandizes won the title for the “best croissant of Ile-de-France”.
The same year, Boulangerie Maison Fraudin in Saint-Grégoire won the honor for “the best croissant in all france”.
The annual Fête du croissant- Montreal’s Croissant Festival is held annually in April. Bakers from Quebec, Ontario and France participate in this exciting and fun-filled festival.
Also read: Interesting facts about spaghetti
9. Four unique kinds of croissant combos!
Cronut is a combination of a croissant and donut. French-born pastry chef, Dominique Ansel, introduced this delicacy at his New York bakery.
You will be amazed to know that world’s most expensive pastry is the Luxury Zebra Cro. sold at London’s Dum Dum Donutterie. This is basically a cronut and it costs around $2000. This unique delicacy is made with saffron-infused butter croissant dough, Cristal rosé champagne caviar, gold leaf, Tahitian gold vanilla beans, and rare Amedei Porcelana chocolate.
Similarly, Cragel is the combination of Croissant and Bagel, created by the Bagel Store.
Another such amazing combo, is Croiffle. This is the combination of Croissant and Waffle. The credit to introduce this exciting combo goes to the Godiva chocolate company.
10. United States and Canada honor this delicacy by observing national croissant day!
The national croissant day is celebrated on 30th
January in the USA.
These were some interesting facts about croissants. Stay tuned for more interesting content.