I read somewhere that croissants were originally offerings to the moon goddess. The word is French for "crescent" (although the French apparently learnt the recipe from the Austrians). This sounds a little bit unlikely to me, but probably not as unlikely as the following theory:

Centuries ago, Budapest (or possibly Vienna) was being besieged by the Turks. A group of bakers heard the sound of the Turks tunnelling under the walls, and alerted the army. As a reward, they were allowed to bake pastries in the shape of the Islamic crescent symbol (see the Lunar Calendar page for info on the Islamic lunar calendar).

I got this story from the link below, which didn't quote its sources. It seems more likely to me that the city was actually captured, and the bakers started producing crescent shaped pastries for the Turks when they weren't too busy praying towards Mecca and memorising the Koran. It's what I would have done.*

Does anyone know any more about the origins of croissants? Please email me

*I'm joking. Reviving centuries-old ethnic conflicts in Eastern Europe is not a good idea.[back]

Links to other sites on the web

The story of their origin and links to pages of recipes.

Back to main page
Back to Introduction
Back to Frequently asked questions