January 30 is National Croissant Day, a day to celebrate everyone’s favorite flaky, buttery, crescent-shaped pastry.
Although it is most likely just a myth, the history of the croissant is a colorful tale full of adventure. In 1683, the Turkish Empire laid siege on Vienna, Austria. The Turks made several attempts to enter the city by force, but were unsuccessful, so decided to dig an underground tunnel. The bakers of Vienna, who worked in the basement storerooms, heard the sound of digging and alerted the army.
The bakers received high honors and thanks for their assistance in outwitting the Turks. In celebration, they baked their bread in the shape of a crescent moon—the symbol of the Ottoman Empire. After the Turks were defeated, it became custom to serve morning coffee with the crescent-shaped pastry!
Sara Lee: The Next Generation
This 1984 Sara Lee croissant commercial stars Gates McFadden, who would one day play Dr. Beverly Crusher on Star Trek: The Next Generation. The future USS Enterprise physician puts on a French accent and insists that only the French can make a true croissant. After tasting it, she concludes, “This Sara Lee—she is French, non?”
Sara Lee croissant commercial with Gates McFadden (1984)