The croissant is made from puff pastry rolled over into a triangle then curved round into the shape of a crescent moon. Though it originally came from Austria, it is nonetheless a true Parisian speciality, especially when made with butter. For many years now we have enjoyed its golden colour and soft, melting centrefor breakfast or tea.
The croissant is thought to have originated after the Siege of Vienna by the Ottomans in 1683. Bakers decided to celebrate the Austrian victory by using the shape of the Ottoman emblem! It came to France in 1770 with Queen Marie-Antoinette, but it was Baron Zang who really promoted it in Paris in 1838.There was a close relative of the croissant in 1800, called coffee bread (pain à café), but not until 1920 did we obtain the famous pastry we know today.
Traditionally, croissants are made of flour, raising agent, milk, sugar, salt and a good proportion of butter. They can be eaten as they are, with jam, with chocolate or dipped in a nice bowl of hot coffee.