Pastry is used throughout the World for producing foods that can be either sweet or savoury. The name pastry is given different kinds of baked foods which include ingredients such as flour, butter, shortening, baking powder or eggs. Pastry is similar to bread but the main distinguish feature is that pastry holds a higher fat content. Pastry is also a much different texture to bread, whereas bread is often heavy and stodgy, pastry tends to be light and flaky. A good pastry is delicate but also strong enough to hold a filling, for example a Cornish pasty has a pastry outside but holds meat and vegetables inside. An apple turnover is light and flaky on the outside but holds a rich apple filling on the inside.
Pastry holds a substantial history and a date back to the ancient Mediterraneans who produced paper thin pastry which holds many layers, known as filo. This type of pastry is still used to day within the World for both sweet and savoury foods. French and Italy produced pastries known as puff and choux, both which are still used extensively in todays cooking environment. People really do enjoy pastry made products; this has meant many people training to become pastry chefs who specialise in pastry products. The best restaurants in the World pay excellent money to have the best pastry chefs available so that the finest pastries can be served to their customers. Pastry chefs use their culinary ability as well requiring creativity to produce unique pastry products which have never been seen before. The pastry chef is traditionally in charge of producing the pastries and also being in over all control of the desert section of a kitchen.
Premade pastry products have become an increasingly popular area of food within the British market. Supermarkets now offer precooked pastry savoury products which can be eaten straight away or can be eaten later. Frozen pastry products are also available which just require defrosting and cooking the oven to allow the pastry to rise. Foods such as croissants which the French are very proud of producing freshly can be bought frozen and then cooked to prepare, some these frozen products as an insult to the heritage of the croissant. Pasty shops which specialise in warm cooked pasties to eat on the go have arrived in the UK in the last decade, shops such as Greggs sell a large variety of pastry products are reasonable prices. These pastry products have often been frozen and then cooked on site when required. A butchers shop selling pasties and pies is likely to sell homemade ones which are of higher quality than supermarkets or cafes alternatives.
The sweet pastry products available tend to differ between countries; different areas enjoy different types of products. France and Italy are both countries which produce large amounts of pastries and renowned for their high quality pastries. Many chefs travel to France to learn the art of how to produce excellent pastry as the French are viewed as being the best at this art.