France laughs at UK chain's new 'straight' croissants

France laughs at UK chain's new 'straight' croissants

Photo: Claudio Brisighello/Flickr

France laughs at UK chain's new 'straight' croissants




It's hard to imagine how anyone could have a problem with the humble French croissant. But apparently the curved shape is causing many Brits difficulties, and they're struggling to spread butter onto their pastries.
To appease them, UK supermarket giant Tesco made a startling announcement: from now on, all its croissants will be curve-less.
Yes, you heard that right. The croissant, staple of French cuisine and thought to date back to at least the early 1800s, is being given an angular makeover - despite the fact that its name literally means ‘crescent’.


On a traditional French croissant, the two tips should  touch. Photo: Bex Walton/Flickr
Harry Jones, croissant buyer for the chain, attempted to justify the change. He told British newspaper the Guardian that 75 percent of customers "told us that they preferred straight ones".
He blamed the "spreadability factor", explaining that "with the crescent shaped croissants, it’s more fiddly and most people can take up to three attempts to achieve perfect coverage, which increases the potential for accidents involving sticky fingers and tables".
The story was promptly picked up by a very tickled French media.
"Is this the first taste of the Brexit?" asked the 20 Minutes newspaper, comparing the episode to a Monty Python sketch.
RTL called the move "completely absurd" (see below).

Some French social media users were left baffled, with one tweeting: "We need to teach the English that you don't butter croissants in the first place..."
Another reacted by calling for Britain to be kicked out of the EU, while another called the idea "sheer lunacy".
One said "If it's not curved, you simply can't call it a croissant". Another declared war (see below).

Tesco says au revoir to the traditional French curved croissant because Brits prefer them straight


The supermarket claims shoppers opt for straight croissants over the traditional crescent shape because they are easier to spread with jam

Croissant thief on the loose in France

  Traditionally crescent-shaped croissants are made with margarine, while the ones without the signature curve are made with butter and are therefore seen as superior.

But at Tesco even the curved croissants now consigned to history were made with butter rather than margarine. The recipe for the new variety will continue to use butter.

 The supermarket claims three quarters of customers prefer the patisserie classic to be straight.
Without the curve, it is easier to cut open the pastry and spread a filling across the inside.

Home-made croissants

The flaky pastry is said to be easier to spread when straight  Photo: Alamy
Tesco croissant buyer Harry Jones explains: “After demand for crescent shaped croissants started falling, we spoke to our customers and nearly 75 per cent of them told us that they preferred straight ones.
“At the heart of the move away from curved croissants is the spreadability factor. The majority of shoppers find it easier to spread jam, or their preferred filling, on a straighter shape with a single sweeping motion.
“With the crescent shaped croissants, it’s more fiddly and most people can take up to three attempts to achieve perfect coverage, which increases the potential for accidents involving sticky fingers and tables.”

Whatever you do, don't order the curved croissant ordinaire in Paris. Get the straight one, the one made with butter only.

End the working week with a treat. Fill a buttery croissant with cheese, ham and chives.


 The croissant’s ancestor, the kipferl, is believed to date back to 13th century Austria.
Croissants are traditionally made with a leavened form of puff pastry, with the dough layered with butter and rolled and folded numerous times to create layers of flaky pastry.
Paul Hollywood: how to make perfect croissants

At a glance

The history of the croissant

While croissants are seen as quintessentially French, the pastry’s history can be traced back to the bakers of Vienna. The biscuity ancestor of the croissant, the Kipferl, is said to date back to 13th century Austria.

Legend has it that crescent-shaped rolls were made to celebrate the defeat against Turkish forces at the siege of Vienna in 1683, since the crescent emblem signalled the Turkish flag. Indeed, the pastries are still known as viennoiserie in France.

Culinary mythology claims they were brought to France by Marie-Antoinette as a 14-year old bride hankering for comfort food from her native Austria.

Today’s croissant is believed to have its origins in a Viennese bakery opened in Paris in 1838 by Austrian artillery officer August Zang. He served the kipferl, which became known as a croissant, meaning crescent, because of its shape.

Thereafter, the croissant’s popularity spread to over parts of Europe including the UK. By 1872 they had made it into the pages of Charles Dickens’ weekly journal All The Year Round, which described “the dainty croissant on the boudoir table”.

To be fair, British social media also users had a field day with the news.
 The Local's calls for comment from the National Confederation of French Boulangeries and Patisseries have gone unanswered.
France laughs at UK chain's new 'straight' croissants France laughs at UK chain's new 'straight' croissants Reviewed by Ajit Kumar on 7:37 PM Rating: 5

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