A Time and a Plate
About This Show
It might seem impossible to believe that we have a lot in common with a peasant toiling in a medieval field at the turn of the second millennium, or a Venetian pirate as plague rampages through your city’s canals, or a young girl on trial for witchcraft, or a chef who cooked for princes and kings. But here’s the thing, everyone has to eat, and that primal need has been one of the major forces in world history since we gathered around the promethean fire. That’s what we’re exploring in this season’s podcast - how food has shaped who we have become. Super casual, right? One thousand years of history, explored plate first.
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On today’s episode of A Time and a Plate, we delve into the tunnels under Vienna to discover the true history of the croissant.
The story of the croissant goes like this.
Vienna was under siege. Between the trench warfare in the dried up moat below, and the pangs of hunger that led civilians to capture and eat “roof rabbits” (also known as…cats) there was a soft, clanking sound underneath the city’s feet. Impossible to hear over the cannon’s roar, but in the quiet of the night, in the early ours of the bakery, a pastry cook might hear a chisel fighting against rock to break into the city.
The bakers alerted the guard, and counter-miners dug below, intercepting and killing the enemies that hid in the darkness. Vienna was saved for another day. As a reward, the Emperor allowed this group of bakers to make a special bread inspired by the defeat of their mortal enemy – the Ottoman Empire under their Crescent shaped banner. The croissant, was born.