Appears in

Oxford Companion to Food

Oxford Companion to Food

By Alan Davidson

Published 2014

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Crouton derived from the French croûton, has been an English word since early in the 19th century, whereas two other connected French culinary terms, croûte and croustade, have remained French—the former, no doubt, because the English word crust already had a somewhat similar meaning, and the latter because it is a more specialized term which the chefs and menu-writers who use it are happy to leave in its French form.

All these terms derive from the Latin word crusta, meaning ‘shell’. Thus the outside of a loaf of bread is the crust or croûte.