A croissant (from the French word for "crescent") is a buttery flaky pastry named for its distinctive shape. The modern croissant dates to 19th century Paris, France.
Stories of how the Kipferl (an ancestor of the croissant, and so, ultimately, the croissant) was created are widespread and persistent culinary legends, with at least one going back to the 19th century.
Numerous claims include that:
- it was invented in Europe to celebrate the defeat of the Umayyad forces at the Battle of Tours by the Franks in 732, with the shape representing the Islamic crescent moon.
- it was invented in Vienna, Austria, in 1683 to celebrate the defeat of the Ottomans by Christian forces in the siege of the city, as a reference to the crescents on the Ottoman flags, when bakers staying up all night heard the tunneling operation and gave the alarm.
- (linking croissants with the kifli, a traditional Hungarian yeast roll) it was invented in Buda, Hungary, in 1686 when Christian forces freed Budapest from Ottoman occupation and the bakers of the town celebrated the victory the next day by selling freshly baked bread rolls made into a crescent shape.
A Syrian judicial council in a rebel-held area of Aleppo issued a fatwa in 2013 deeming croissants ‘haram’ (forbidden in Islamic law) because of their “colonial” significance. According to the fatwa, the Croissants’ crescent shape celebrates European victory over Muslims.
- Karl August Schimmer, The Sieges of Vienna by the Turks: Translated from the German of Karl August Schimmer and Others, trans. Earl of Francis Egerton Ellesmere (London: John Murray, 1879), p. 30-31
- "Gastronomic curiosities" (in portuguese), Editora Abril, http://historia.abril.uol.com.br/alimentacao/conteudo_553886.shtml. Retrieved on 2009-05-03
- "Aleppo rebel religious committee forbids ‘colonial’ croissants", Al Arabiya, July 30, 2013 (archived), http://english.alarabiya.net/en/variety/2013/07/30/Aleppo-rebel-religious-committee-forbids-colonial-croissants.html.