We dream of strolling through the streets of Paris, with the melody of the Vie en Rose of Edith Piaf. The atmosphere is romantic and a little melancholy. Let yourself be lulled by that pleasant smell of baguette freshly baked, that fragrance of Croissant that we pleasantly want to bite into. That modern boulangerie in front of us, warm and reassuring, where you can relax for a pleasant breakfast while sipping one Cup of coffee. And here it all began like this.
It was the 1683 is the Ottoman Empire had just been defeated a Vienna. Indeed, it seems that the Ottomans attempted to besiege the Habsburg Empire without, however, ever being able to surpass the defenses. So they tried the underground tunnels to go through during the night. However, they were taken by surprise thanks to the bakers who, working during the night, warned the sentries, saving the city. It is said that it was the pastry chef Vandler, worthy of this heroic act, to have the exclusive right to produce something special to commemorate the event. And this is how the delicious croissants are born, now the turkish logo, par excellence, due to its a Crescent moon.
A specialty that over time has made many revolutions, all derived from the historian Austrian Kipferl, a sweet or savory specialty prepared with simple ingredients available to everyone: flour, butter, eggs, water, sugar and egg yolk to brown the surface.
So why do we call croissants typical French products? All thanks to the artillery officer August Zang who in 1938 founded the first Boulangerie Viennoise (Viennese pastry shop) in Paris, a small shop where the delicious ones were baked viennoiserie: leavened baked desserts made with a technique closer to that of bread than to traditional pâtisserie. From here the success was immediate, so much so that they indulged themselves to create many other mouth-watering alternative versions.
Starting with croissont, the famous triangle of layered leavened dough, which once cooked becomes one crunchy casket with a soft heart. We find a similar mixture in pain du chocolat, which stuffed with drops or pieces of chocolate, is the favorite culinary attraction of many tourists visiting French cities. But instead the kouing amann, Have you ever heard about it? He has reserved a place of honor among the viennoiserie. Originally from Brittany, Northwest region of France, its appearance is similar to that of the cake and its main ingredient is butter. Its flavor may certainly remind us of that of a croissant but unlike it, it is never stuffed. Its fame, which began in Paris, soon sparked all over the world, until 2012 when it was even named specialty Dessert of the Year.
From Paris we travel to Milan, where it awaits us, in Porta Venezia, the boulangerie Egalitè which documents the culture of the sweet and savory bakery in the other side of the Alps, and which in a couple of years has become a point of reference for the inhabitants of the neighborhood, their meeting place of the heart, especially for the Francophone community living in the Lombard capital . Here you can taste a little French tradition, intimate and informal. Savoring the crunchiness of this croissont, it feels like sitting on a comfortable chair a Place du Trocadéro, contemplating the fascinated Eiffel Tower.
Photo by Michele Tabozzi