Have you ever wondered how the croissant was born?!
It “was born”, or better, it was made for the first time in Vienna in 1683, during the war between Turks and Austrians. The Turks attacked Vienna hard: they entered the city through the town walls and tunnels and one night even through a baker’s shop! But this last attack wasn’t lucky because that night the bakers were making bread and when they heard some noises they understood it was an incursion by the Turks and gave the alarm, so the attack failed. The Polish king, Joseph III, reached Vienna with his army to help the Austrians and the two joint powerful armies managed to defeat the Turks. The Polish king asked those bakers that had helped to avoid a Turkish attack to create a food to commemorate the Turkish defeat. As a result, Baker Vendler made the croissant, which means crescent moon, the symbol of the Turkish flag.
Another pastry that we know very well is… “pasticciotto” (or better, “pasticciottHo”, as we usually say in Salento! ;-)). It was first made by Nicola Ascalone, the owner of a confectioner’s shop in Galatina. He wanted to create a new pastry to become successful and so solve his economic problems; one day he had some dough and some cream left and decided to arrange them in a little baking pan to make a very small cake that he named “pie”. Then he gave it to a customer who congratulated the chef on the delicious sweet. The pie was immediately a success and since then it has spread all over Salento until today. Nowadays there are many types of “pasticciotto”, filled with cream, chocolate, marmalade, jam, almonds and so on. (I’ve recently tried to make it.. and it’s quite easy :-)!)
So, croissant or pasticciotto? Which do you prefer?