The croissant is a French buttery and flaky pastry that is categorized as a viennoiserie, and originates from Austria. It is made with butter and yeast-leavened dough and can be filled with a number of different marmalades and creams.
The origins of the croissant can be found in the kipferl,
a traditional yeast bread roll
from Austria. However, how the kipferl "evolved" into the croissant is not known. Nonetheless, the modern version of the croissant had become a fixed presence in France by the second half of the 19th century.
The name croissant derives from its traditional shape, which is that of a crescent.
The correct pronunciation of croissant in French is crwass-onht
. Learning how to pronounce croissant in the right way is rather challenging because the word contains a number of sounds that are foreign to English speakers and typical of the French language. The first one is the gargled "R" in -crwass. Given that it is difficult to reproduce, for a non-native speaker it is probably better to pronounce it as -cwass, therefore omitting the "R" sound. This is because omitting the "R" actually more closely approximates the first syllable than trying to pronounce a full "R" sound. The second difficult sound to pronounce is -ohnt, which contains a nasal "N" that has a shorter sound and a nearly imperceptible "T" sound that follows it. In this case, it could be easier to pronounce a shorter "N" and avoid pronouncing the final "T".