The True History of The Croissant
The croissant represents the crescent moon of the Turkish flag. Discover the history behind this “French” breakfast meal by traveling to Vienna.

Croissant from Vienna

Nowadays, when you travel to France, there’s no petit-déjeuner that doesn’t include a hot and croustillante (crispy) croissant, but this popular pastry commonly attributed to the country that authored the foie gras and blue cheese is, actually, Viennese.

It was the year of 1683 and the Ottoman soldiers, under the command of the grand vizier Mustafá Pachá, had overcome, among others, the Hungarian army as part of their mission to convert Central Europe to Islam. Their next target was Vienna, the capital of the Holy Roman Empire, which despite several attempts had resisted the Turkish assaults.

The Moorish King

The Austrian emperor, Leopold I, fearing that this time the invaders would vanquish them, begged the Pope for help. He, in turn, summoned the Catholic European countries to a crusade in order to expel the Muslims. However, the French King refused to participate in that battle, and this gained him the disapproval of all the crusaders who nicknamed him “the Moorish King”.

The Turks, determined to achieve their conquest, planned a strategy that involved digging a tunnel under the Viennese walls and reaching the center of the city. In order not to be discovered, they would dig at night, advancing little by little towards their target. Nevertheless, their plan wasn’t flawless. The city’s bakers used to work after sunset, so as they were baking bread, they heard the scraping and tapping sounds of the tools their enemies were using to dig. Frightened, they alerted their kinsmen and the defenses hastily prepared for the attack.

Viennoiseries

It was thanks to the bakers that the Turks were finally forced to stop the siege and Vienna was saved.

The emperor, who was very thankful, rewarded the bakers with honors and privileges, including the right to bear a sword. At the same time, the victory was a reason to celebrate and that inspired the bakers to invent two varieties of pastries. The first one was called the “emperor”, and the other one, as a way to mock the invaders, was called the “croissant”, which means crescent moon, because it was shaped as the symbol used in the Turkish flag.

Croissants Authentic Recipe

In its origins, the croissant was prepared with milk dough, yeast, butter and flour, but in the XIXth century, when the Austrian officer August Zang opened a Viennese bakery shop in Paris, the croissant evolved…et voilà! It became the pastry we are familiar with and it acquired the buttery taste we deeply enjoy.  

DINKtravelers has revealed the secret. Try a delicious croissant on your next trip to… Vienna!

Because reading is where the journey begins...
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