The most common version of the croissant story is said to have taken place in 19th century Austria. Surrounded by a Turkish army, Vienna was under siege. An early-rising Vienna baker heard odd rumbling noises in the early hours of the morning. He alerted the leaders who quickly discovered that the Turks were trying get into Vienna by tunneling the city’s walls.

The invasion was botched and the early-rising baker became a hero.
To commemorate the victory, the baker is said to have made a rather unique pastry that was crescent-shaped, replicating the symbol on the Turkish flag. Not lost, of course, is the symbolism — the Austrians had had the Turks for lunch.

As is the trend with legends, a variation on the story is said to have happened two centuries earlier, only this time in Budapest. And while the facts are sketchy, fanciful legends always make for interesting stories. But the truth is that no one really knows how and when the croissant came to be.

Whatever the origins, perfection of the croissant is usually credited to France. The French reinvented the pastry by tweaking the process here and there. The result was that the croissants now had a flaky texture on the outside and airier, creamier consistency on the inside.

And so the croissant as we have come to know it was created.
Copyright © 2006 VANCOUVER CROISSANT

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