The French croissant is a beloved pastry known for its flaky, buttery texture and crescent shape. Its history can be traced back to Austria, rather than France. The croissant as we know it today is a result of a culinary tradition that was brought to France by an Austrian baker.
The origins of the croissant can be traced back to the 13th century when the Ottoman Turks introduced a similar pastry known as the "kifli" to Austria. The kifli was a crescent-shaped, layered pastry made with butter and yeast. It quickly became popular in Austria and other parts of Europe.
In 1683, an event known as the Siege of Vienna occurred. The Ottoman Empire laid siege to the city, and during the conflict, Viennese bakers who were working overnight in the basement of the city's bakeries to produce bread heard the sound of the invading Turks tunneling under the city. The bakers alerted the Viennese army, and the attack was thwarted. In celebration of their victory, the Viennese bakers baked a special pastry in the shape of the crescent moon, which was the symbol of the Ottoman Empire. This pastry was the precursor to the modern croissant.
Several decades later, in the late 18th century, Marie Antoinette, who was originally from Austria and married to King Louis XVI of France, introduced the croissant to the French aristocracy. The croissant gained popularity in France, especially among the upper classes, and eventually spread throughout the country.
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