A culinary tour of Europe
Who are the largest consumers of croissants, pains au chocolat, and other viennoiseries* in Europe?
*Fresh viennoiseries made with puff pastries and leavened puff pastries, such as croissants, raisin rolls, turnovers or twists. Average annual consumption.
Source: GIRA Consultancy & Research – Prospective et Stratégie – Consumption of viennoiseries in Europe – 2015
The Swedish love their coffee breaks (or fika) so much, they have become a true tradition! They meet up several times a day for a cup of coffee paired with a viennoiserie, sometimes the famous kanelbulle. A cinnamon roll sprinkled with sugar, this pastry is a Swedish icon that even gets its own day on the Swedish calendar: 4 October!
The Spanish, who are true aficionados when it comes to outdoor morning breakfast, enjoy eating cruasanes, croissants coated with syrup or chocolate.
The English consume viennoiseries on the way to work. They also enjoy taking their breaks in coffee shops, where they take viennoiseries with their hot drinks.
In addition to the ubiquitous croissants and pains au chocolat, they also enjoy succulent specialities such as maple pecan pastries.
The Belgians have a hearty meal in the morning, treating themselves to viennoiseries: traditional croissants and pains au chocolat, as well as couques, sweet rolls filled with raisins or pastry cream, or cramique, a brioche rich in butter and filled with raisins, a favourite for afternoon snack time.
For the French, viennoiseries are treats which they enjoy sharing with the whole family. These pastries are mainly consumed during breakfast, where the iconic French croissant takes centre stage, as well as during afternoon snack time, when the French indulge Vin pains au chocolat, raisin rolls, apple turnovers and other sweets.
In the Netherlands, croissants are treated like rolls and are mostly paired with savoury foods. However, viennoiseries may also be consumed throughout the day, particularly with the afternoon tea.
The Germans eat a hearty breakfast composed of Brunnengipfel—
small,shiny croissants with a sweet, subtle flavour—and assorted meats and cheese served with Brötchen, small rolls that are a staple in Germany.
The Italians pair their cappuccino —a national institution—with a cornetto, an Italian-style croissant filled with jam, chocolate, or pastry cream. They usually devour it in two bites at the café counter before leaving for work.
ELSEWHERE IN THE WORLD…
In Asia, “French-style” viennoiseries are a tremendous success, and Asians are taking classic recipes and adapting them to local tastes, with more colourful products and original flavours.