St. Martin's croissants - where does the tradition of this baking come from?

November 11 is not only the date of the National Independence Day celebration, but also the day when we remember Saint. Marcin and on this occasion we eat delicious croissants! This traditional cake is made of puff pastry, filled with white poppy seeds and dried fruit, and generously iced. Learn about the history of St. Martin's croissants and the related Poznań customs of celebrating this holiday!

Who was Saint Martin?

Legends have arisen around the figure of Saint Martin, especially in the Poznań region, of which he is the patron saint. Who really was this saint? Well, he lived in the 4th century AD and was a Roman soldier, which is why he is often depicted on a white horse. He is known primarily from the story that one day he encountered a half-naked beggar on his way and gave him half of his cut coat. Shortly thereafter, he was baptized, abandoned his previous lifestyle and became a priest.

How did the tradition of baking croissants for St. John's Day originate? Marcin?

But with themselves => St. Martin's croissants there is another story related. Poznań parish priest. Saint Martin, every year on the occasion of the indulgence, he told the faithful the story of the patron saint. One day, Walenty, a local confectioner, heard her. He was so fascinated by this story that he decided to do the same as Saint. Marcin and help the local poor. Unfortunately, he didn't immediately have a good idea of what to do. Therefore, he began to pray to the saint, and the saint visited him in a dream as a knight on a white horse. After waking up, the confectioner found a horseshoe, which gave him a clue as to what he should do for the poor. He baked several trays of stuffed cookies for them, shaped like a horse's shoe. And the next day, after the indulgence mass, he distributed all his baked goods to the poor. Over time, they also began to be called croissants.

This legend was revived again at the end of the 19th century thanks to Józef Melzer, a baker from Poznań, who was also inspired by the story about Saint. Marcin and on the occasion of his indulgence, he started baking croissants for the poor. After Józef Melzer, the custom of preparing this cake was taken over by other confectioners in Poznań. And so to this day, Poznań residents, but not only them, eat delicious St. Martin's croissants on November 11.

How do Poznań residents celebrate St. Patrick's Day? Marcin?

For all Poles, November 11 is clearly associated with Independence Day. However, in Poznań, the celebration of this national celebration is combined with the joyful celebration of the name day of the patron saint of the most important street in the city, Saint Martin. Many attractions, mainly of an artistic nature, are organized for Poznań residents and many guests. The most important point of the program is a colorful procession that passes through Saint Marcin Street, led by the person portraying this character. At the very end, the mayor of Poznań hands over the keys to the city to Saint Martin. Throughout the day, numerous artistic performances, concerts and dance shows take place. Of course, there are also stands with traditional St. Martin's croissants, which every visitor can buy and enjoy their unique taste!

How to bake Saint Martin's croissants? 

St. Martin's Croissant has become so famous and appreciated that it even received a special European Union certificate protecting its name and recipe. Only certain EU-certified confectioneries can bake this delicacy using a traditional recipe.

However, you can easily find many interesting recipes on the Internet that will tell you how to make St. Martin's croissants yourself. The basis of this baking is the preparation of semi-puff pastry and white poppy seed mass. Moreover, the top of the croissants is covered with icing and sprinkled with chopped nuts. Of course, they must be shaped like a horseshoe!

Delicious Saint Martin's croissants are also available at Cukiernia Jacek Placek. We invite you to shop now in our three locations in the Tricity and the surrounding area => online store.