It's hard to imagine how anyone could have a problem with the humble French croissant. But apparently the curved shape is causing many Brits difficulties, and they're struggling to spread butter onto their pastries.
To appease them, UK supermarket giant Tesco made a startling announcement: from now on, all its croissants will be curve-less.
Yes, you heard that right. The croissant, staple of French cuisine and thought to date back to at least the early 1800s, is being given an angular makeover – despite the fact that its name literally means ‘crescent’.
On a traditional French croissant, the two tips should touch. Photo: Bex Walton/Flickr
Harry Jones, croissant buyer for the chain, attempted to justify the change. He told British newspaper the Guardian that 75 percent of customers “told us that they preferred straight ones”.
He blamed the “spreadability factor”, explaining that “with the crescent shaped croissants, it’s more fiddly and most people can take up to three attempts to achieve perfect coverage, which increases the potential for accidents involving sticky fingers and tables”.
The story was promptly picked up by a very tickled French media.
“Is this the first taste of the Brexit?” asked the 20 Minutes newspaper, comparing the episode to a Monty Python sketch.
RTL called the move “completely absurd” (see below).
Some French social media users were left baffled, with one tweeting: “We need to teach the English that you don't butter croissants in the first place…”
Another reacted by calling for Britain to be kicked out of the EU, while another called the idea “sheer lunacy”.
One said “If it's not curved, you simply can't call it a croissant”. Another declared war (see below).
— Lucie Goguillot (@Lucie_Gglt) February 19, 2016
To be fair, British social media also users had a field day with the news.
As a nation, we aspire to 50% of people going to university, yet we find curved croissants intolerably difficult. https://t.co/ooJYfGKcSJ
— Iain Brassington (@IBrasso) February 18, 2016
— Abagael (@abssims) February 18, 2016
If Tesco are changing the shape of croissants, what are they going to call them?
— Lady o' the Hill (@IreneHutchison) February 18, 2016
It’s not the first time the Brits have butchered French food in recent times.
Just last week, a photo of a pile of crepes with a slice cut out – as if they were an English sponge cake – provoked mass outrage. The act was labelled by French media as “barbaric” and even a “declaration of war”.
The Local's calls for comment from the National Confederation of French Boulangeries and Patisseries have gone unanswered.