Croissants - Their Origin and Variants
Croissants have long been French delicacies, probably since before the 13th century. At that point they may not have retained their famous crescent shape. Before the croissant, it was the kipferi that was the major French dish found in bakeries. Both croissants and kipferis could be wrapped around just about anything. Today, the varieties of croissants are many. In fact, you get anything from ham and cheese as the filling all the way to a sweeter variant if you so prefer.
It is said that croissants were what the French used to respond to the American ‘fast foods’ and fast food joints that came at the very beginning. In order to keep with the global competition, bakeries would keep frozen croissants ready in their cold storage. Any time a croissant was ordered, unskilled workers just had to operate the oven and serve it up as a hot-n-hot croissant.
Stories behind the origin of croissants
Not much data has been found on the subject. It is difficult to imagine that the origins of the food would be carefully documented by any scholar. However, there are stories of how the French defeated the Ottomans in battle and created the croissant to symbolize the crescent that was present on the Ottoman flags. For the same reason, quite a few radical Islamists have banned the food in their areas.
Variants of croissants
The variations present in croissants arise from the location in which they are made. The croissants made in Italy are different from the ones made in Argentina. Similarly, the Polish croissants are slightly different from those made in other countries. Most countries make croissants sweet. They fill them with chocolate syrup or glaze them with a layer of icing sugar. These have become very popular around the world.
More specific variants include the ones from Poland, Argentina and Italy. In Argentina they are made sweet when served with coffee. During other times, they could be filled with lard. This variant is salty, and not sweet. The Italian croissants are also generally sweet. However, while the French croissant is crispy, the Italian variant is soft.
Jam or chocolate are often used as fillers. They are also sugar coated, similar to the original croissants. The Polish croissants are famous due to their importance on St. Martin’s Day. The croissants are sometimes filled with dainties or white poppies, and coated with sugar.