THE HISTORY OF THE CROISSANT

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In 1683, the Ottoman Empire had been laying siege to the city of Vienna, capital of the Holy Roman Empire, for months.

Vienna was trying to hold out long enough for King John the III of Poland to arrive and drive their enemies away. During the day, soldiers of Vienna would watch the sea of red flags with the golden crescent move around the field; but the real siege was happening right underfoot.

What they would soon come to know was that the Turks were digging tunnels under the city walls and placing explosives along the way.

Most of the digging would take place at night while the city slept, so the Turks were able to make more noise and were able to move rubble without being seen, but the Turks weren’t the only ones working in the night. So were the bakers of Vienna.

It was the bakers’ jobs to have fresh break available in the morning by the time their costumers were waking up to have breakfast, so the they mixed the ingredients and kneaded the dough and bakes the bread all through the night.

And so it was during the night that some of the bakers heard digging sounds coming from beneath their feet. They called for guards, and, after a little digging of their own, they discovered what the Turks had been up to.

Having foiled the invasion from below, the Viennese were able to hold on long enough for King John the III to arrive and defeat the Ottomans on September 12, 1683, in what was the be known as the Battle of Vienna. In celebration of the defeat of their enemies, the bakers created the Kipferl, which means crescent in German.

Thus the delicious crescent shaped pastry called the croissant was born. (Yum)

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