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Butter Croissant

What you didn’t know about croissants

Authentic French croissants

Let’s talk about croissants. Many Americans are familiar with the buttery, crescent-shaped rolls that are the hallmark of French pastries, but they have so many variations that it’s worth digging into a little bit deeper.

Queen Marie Antoinette first introduced the croissant to France in 1770. The crescent-shaped pastries were popular in her native Austria, and viennoiserie (Vienna-style baked goods) became popular items served in French cafes. By 1850 they were sold all over France.

French croissants experienced a revival in the postwar era, when they became France’s version of American fast food. This led to the popularity of croissants as meals in themselves, stuffed with cheese, meat, vegetables, fruit, or (of course) sweet dessert fillings such as almond and chocolate.

Let’s discover the French croissants!

A perfect French croissant is a feast for the eyes as well as the palate. It begins with pate feuilletee (a dough made of flour, yeast, butter, milk and salt) which is rolled out many times to form layers that puff up when baked, giving the croissant its distinctive, melt-in-your-mouth texture. Croissants are often brushed with an egg wash before baking to give them a smooth, golden-brown finish.

Today you can buy mass-produced packaged croissants in many grocery stores, but believe us, they are a pale substitute for the real thing. A true French croissant worthy of the name is flaky, buttery, and above all, fresh. If you can’t fly to Paris to get one, do the next best thing and come to Maison Parisienne to find most authentically-French croissants in Chicago.

Copyright: Zdenko Zivkovic