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Croissant

A croissant is a butter-laden flaky French pastry, named for its distinctive crescent shape. Croissants are made of a leavened variant of puff pastry by layering yeast dough with butter and rolling and folding a few times in succession, then rolling.

The French are famous for their skill in making croissants. Making croissants by hand requires skill and patience, but the development of factory-made, frozen, pre-formed but unbaked dough has made them into a fast food which can be freshly baked by unskilled labor. Indeed, the croissanterie was explicitly a French response to American fast food. This innovation, along with the croissant's versatility and distinctive shape, has made it the best-known type of French pastry in much of the world. 

In many parts of the United States, for example, the croissant (introduced at the fast food chains Arby's in the United States and Tim Hortons in Canada in 1983) has come to rival the long-time favorite doughnuts.

Croissant pastry can also be wrapped around almond paste or chocolate before it is baked (in the latter case, it becomes like pain au chocolat, which has a different, non crescent, shape), or sliced to admit sweet or savory fillings. In France, croissants are generally sold without filling and eaten without added butter, and sometimes with almond filling. In the United States, sweet fillings or toppings are common, or warm croissants are filled with ham and cheese or feta cheese and spinach.


 
 
 
 
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