Italians and French share the same love for the morning croissant. But the gluttony is very different on the other side of the Alps.
Should we say chocolatine or pain au chocolat? The debate about the name of this viennoiserie comes up regularly in France. In Italy, you eat neither one nor the other in the pastry department, but rather full croissants, which are sold in all the country’s cafes. called cornetto in the South, Brioche Nerd, pastain Emilia-Romagna or finally, increasing (with a r rolled) by distinguished people, this sweet is a daily breakfast staple.
Because breakfast al bar is a ritual that we happily subscribe to every day, whether we are in Sicily, Piedmont or Rome. On weekdays, it is enjoyed standing, at the counter. But the Frenchman on holiday might feel a little offended when he bites his tongue cornetto, unleashing an avalanche of cream, jam, chocolate and even honey on all sides. But what is this obsession that Italians have with filling croissants, even covering them with icing, icing sugar or little sweet and crunchy pearls?
A recent French specialty
The legend of the birth of the crescent is tenacious. It would find its origin in the Ottoman siege of Vienna in 1683. The attackers, who had planned to attack in the middle of the night, were prevented from doing so by the bakers who were already awake, who raised the alarm and put the army to flight. To celebrate the occasion, they invented kipferl, a kind of crescent-shaped bun, symbol of the enemy. Arriving in France, the specialty became a pastry that would have turned into a crispy croissant, all of butter dough. And the Italian cornetto? Nothing but the gourmet and stuffed version of kipferllanded at La Botte via Venice, which maintained important commercial links with Austria.
The story is beautiful, but it remains largely a legend. Because we find the trail kipferl since the 13th century in Eastern Europe and the croissant, which has become a French viennoiserie par excellence, has not always had the same recipe. Its enthronement in its current form around 1950, after bakers replaced brioche with puff pastry, is quite recent. Which should help you accept the whims of our neighbors, who have no qualms about varying the variations of “our” specialty, more or less sweet, buttered and above all stuffed. And if the idea really turns you off, ask for one cornetto (or a brioche etc depending on the region) voidempty.
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