05 janvier 2005

On m'aurait menti? 

Apparemment, la jolie histoire de l'invention du croissant à Vienne, en 1683, pour célébrer la victoire sur les assaillants turcs, serait complètement apocryphe. C'est en tout cas ce que soutient Wikipedia, qui s'appuie sur des références sérieuses (à noter que la version française continue à colporter la légende pieuse) :
Fanciful stories of a pastry invented in Vienna in 1683 to celebrate the defeat of the Turkish siege of the city; a reference to the crescents on the Turkish flags, when the bakers staying up all night heard the tunneling operation and gave the alarm; and linking croissants with the siege of Budapest in 1686, or with Marie Antoinette's hankering after a Viennese specialty, are modern culinary legends. Alan Davidson, editor of the Oxford Companion to Food states that no printed recipe for the present-day croissant appears in any French recipe book before early in the 20th century.

The "Siege of Vienna" story seems to owe its wide diffusion to Alfred Gottschalk, who wrote about the croissant for the first edition of the Larousse Gastronomique, 1938, and there cited the original legend in the Turkish attack on Budapest in 1686, but on the history of food section in the same work, opted for the "siege of Vienna in 1683" version.
Via un article de Malcolm Gladwell qui n'avait pas grand chose à voir mais est néanmoins dans le haut du panier des articles de Gladwell, autrement dit plus qu'excellent.