Everyone loves to indulge in a pastry or confectionery from time to time. Whether it’s at home baking or from the countless cafes and patisseries dotted across the UK, we Brits love our sweet desserts. Yet, whilst pastries and confectioneries have become part and parcel of the UK alfresco scene, we have to thank our neighbours across the Channel for bringing them into being.
The storied history of how the tantalising desserts we all enjoy became popular is an extremely interesting one and, as suppliers of quality food counters to some of the best cafes and patisseries in the UK, we decided to look a little deeper at these tasty treats.
Whilst the origins of pastries can be traced back to the civilisations of the ancient Mediterranean, it soon would make its way to central and western Europe, most notably to France where the iconic choux and puff pastry were developed.
It is argued that Marie de Medici, Queen of France and a member of the powerful Medici family, brought puff pastry with her from Tuscany to Paris, leading to the iconic croissant. However, most believe it was the kipferl, a Viennese sweet bread shaped suspiciously like the croissant would grow to become the French staple.
Pastry and politics
Aside from baked goods and pastries, France is also pretty synonymous for political upheaval, especially when it comes to the French Revolution, however, both are heavily intertwined. After the fall of the monarchy and the switch to a republic, France also decided to abolish guilds, which used to control who could make what and where. This allowed for a new wave of bakers and pastry chefs to begin their craft.
However, whilst the monarchy was no more, the bourgeoisie class that developed afterwards still had a certain penchant for sweet treats. It was around this point that famed chef Antonin Careme elevated French pastry making to high art, leading to some of our favourite desserts we love today such as the brioche cream puff and eclair.
The industrial revolution
As France steadily became more industrialised, its cosmopolitan centres saw a big increase in patisseries and cafes. The Exposition Universelle that began to be held in Paris brought a huge number of tourists and travellers to the city, solidifying the iconic Parisian cafe culture we know today.
These days, patisseries can be found everywhere from Europe to America, however, the term is heavily regulated. To be regarded as a patisserie legally, the establishment must have licensed maître pâtissier (master pastry chef) working there.
Here at TFSE Products, we love a delicious croissant with our coffees, however, without a quality display installed, cafes and patisseries wouldn’t be able to show off their creations. Supplying a wide range of display counters for any occasion, you can count on TFSE Products to help your catering business.
For more information, visit our website or get in touch on 0800 689 5517.