National Croissant Day Date in the current year: January 30, 2024

National Croissant Day January 30 is National Croissant Day, so celebrate it by indulging in a delicious warm croissant with a generous helping of butter.

Although croissants are commonly associated with France and considered a staple of French bakeries and pâtisseries, they actually originated in Austria. Croissants are generally believed to have been inspired by kifli, also known as kipfel or kipferl. It is a traditional crescent-shaped yeast bread roll popular in the Balkan Peninsula and Central Europe.

Although culinary myths claim that it was invented in either Buda (the ancient capital of Hungary) or Vienna to celebrate the liberation from Ottoman occupation in the late 17th century, the kipfel had been known in Austria and Hungary long before that; its history dates back to at least the 13th century.

However, it was indeed France where the kipfel became the croissant. In 1838 or 1839, August Zang, an Austrian artillery officer turned entrepreneur, opened a Viennese bakery in Paris. The kipferl quickly became popular and was imitated by Parisian bakers, who began to use puff pastry dough instead of yeast bread dough. The French version of the kipfel was named "crescent" (croissant in French) because of its shape and the rest is history.

By the mid-19th century, the croissant was established as a breakfast staple. Traditional breakfast croissant had a frangipane or chocolate filling and were served with jam and butter. In the 1970s, croissants became a popular fast food. Today, they are available in both sweet and savory variations and are even used in sandwiches.

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