Few foods are as culturally iconic as this flaky breakfast food, croissant. It is considered quintessentially French all over the world.
Yet as recently as the 19th century, the French viewed the croissant as a foreign novelty, sold only in special Viennese bakeries in the pricier parts of Paris. And how it came to France in the first place remains obscured by layer upon layer of legend.
Croissants were first created in celebration of the defeat of the Ottoman empire at the Battle of Vienna in 1683.
The Ottoman invaders did not succeed and to celebrate the victory the bakers of Vienna made pastry in the shape of a crescent moon, that is the symbol of the Ottoman Empire (also known as the Turkish Empire).
However, rumour has it that Marie Antoinette, who was born in Vienna, introduced the croissant to Paris in 1770 before the French Revolution, but croissants only appeared in a widespread way in France in the mid-19th century.
And thus, the popularity of Viennese-style baked goods in France began with the Viennese Bakery opened by August Zang in 1839.
The word 'Viennoiserie' is French for 'things from Vienna'.This version of the origin of the croissant is supported by the fact that croissants in France are a variant of Viennoiserie.
Although, the first verified evidence of the croissant in France is due to a Viennese baker named August Zang. Zang had an upscale patisserie in Paris in the early 1800s and served many of their famous treats — including Viennoiserie.
His Parisian version, though, was made flakier than the traditional sweets, and Parisians began calling them croissants because of their crescent shapes.
Finally, in 1915, a French baker named Sylvain Claudius Goy would write the recipe that we all know and love today, especially as we sit with a warm cup of coffee in the morning.