The One with the Faux-Nuts

There are few things that unite New Yorkers as much as manmade scarcity of luxury items. One such item, just a few inches in diameter, captured the imagination of Gothamites this summer. I, refer of course, to the Cronut™.

Is it a croissant? Is it a doughnut? My friends, it is all that and more. It is a Cro-Nut™. This little invention of the Dominique Ansel Bakery in the West Village is a croissant baked inside a doughnut with a creamy filling.

Cronut

Cronut!

Word of the delectable Cronut™ spread faster than Taylor Swift can break up with her boyfriend and write a number one hit song about it. The media appeared. Within weeks the tiny bakery had a three-hour line out the door and imposed a two Cronut™ per person limit. The bakery couldn’t keep up with with demand, running out by ten a.m. When I heard a radio interview with Hugh Jackman as he waited in line for a Cronut™, I knew things had gone too far. What has the world come to when Wolverine is denied a pastry?

My co-workers and I imagined Monsieur Ansel’s malevolent cackle as he stared at the ever-growing lines outside his bakery. He was probably rubbing his hands together and telling his employees, “Let them eat cake.”  We would not be denied!

There are just three ways one can get a Cronut™ from the Dominique Ansel Bakery.

Option 1. Go to the bakery. According to their website: “As a rule of thumb, if you arrive prior to 6:00 am on a week day, you have a great chance of getting a Cronut.” I gave serious consideration to this option even though it would mean waiting for three hours and purchasing only two cronuts. This would have the added benefit of enabling me to extract serious blackmail from my co-workers, but they likely would have mutinied.

Option 1.1. On the streets a black market started out of necessity. For a mere $50, you could hire an out-of-work actor via Craigslist to wait on line for you and deliver two piping hot Cronuts™ to your door. Wait, you’re thinking. That’s $25 per Cronut™. And I would respond, fully ensconced in the mob mentality that has gotten me to this point: yes, but it’s worth it. My co-workers and I eventually nixed this idea as the thought of what the rebellious actor might do to the Cronuts™ en route was enough to send shivers down our spines.

Option 2. Place an order via phone. From the  comfort of my office, I could call the bakery at 11:00 am and place an order for up to six Cronuts™ for two weeks in advance. The bakery has yet to pick up the phone.

Option 3. Place an email order of 50 Cronuts™ for $250, one month in advance.  You’ll be comforted to know that as I was typing the email, I did come to my senses.

I would like to tell you that we persevered, that we were victorious in our pursuit of Cronuts™. Alas, we lacked the fortitude. Our strength waning, we did the only thing we could do: call in the scabs. A mere four blocks away from Dominique Ansel’s shop, another bakery was happily filling the Cronut™ gap. The Mille-Feuille Bakery sells their version of the Cronut™, or what has become known as the faux-nut, or the dossant, or the fronut (French doughnut).  We succumbed to the faux-nut.

Not having eaten the real thing, I can only say that these faux-nuts were delicious. They were appropriately flakey and sugary and buttery. And now, sufficiently sated, I can prepare myself for the next Big Thing. Muff-cake, anyone?

Eat your heart out, Monsieur Ansel.

Eat your heart out, Monsieur Ansel.

What is your favorite pastry? What is the Big Thing in your town? 

Have a great weekend, everyone!

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46 comments

      1. Gregg’s??????????? Jeeeezzz… they make things out of chalk chippings and petroleum residues!
        No way would I ever buy a ‘bakery’ item there.
        But there must be other places doing them… next time I’m back ‘home’ in London, I shall find some decent knock-offs.

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  1. Can it be coincidence that I first heard of the Cronut(tm) from a Hugh Jackman interview? What are the odds?
    We now have food trucks everywhere, with at least a couple of versions of cupcakes on wheels. They text you to know they’re in your neighborhood so you can meet them at the curb. It’s amazing to see grown ups in suits, ties, and dresses making a mad dash for the cupcake truck. I haven’t tried that or “Captain Cookie and the Milk Man”. Yet.

    Great post!

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    1. To think you could have spent your time in NYC waiting in line for a cronut. Instead, you probably did things like sightsee and go to the park.

      I would very much enjoy a cupcake truck. There are quite a few food trucks here also. I like the one that serves Belgian waffles.

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  2. How funny, Jackie! I had read about these treats here in Ecuador, or maybe I saw a segment on CNN. But, gosh, how expensive! I’m so glad the faux-nut didn’t disappoint. Did it cost a little less? Goodness, though, they look yummy!

    Still love that 1.1 thing! That should be your trademark!

    Hugs from Ecuador,
    Kathy

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  3. Oh yum. Yes—-I have heard of them but have not had the pleasure. I think it will be awhile before they make it to Iowa but we have Tiny Tom donuts at the fair that are pretty doggone delicious. And they are much less expensive. 🙂

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  4. OMG… Hilarious – probably because I can relate with such obsessive behavior (once it’s in my mind that I “MUST” have something, well … um … there’s no going back. Unless, of course, there is a faux option). Those faux-nuts look delectable. Good thing I live 50 miles from the nearest bakery, or I’d be on the prowl this morning for sugary treats.

    If you ever try the famed Cro-Nut, you’ll have to report back to us.

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  5. Kee-razy! Especially about hiring people to stand in line. I don’t think I’d do that for anything.

    San Diego is known for fish tacos, and they are gooood. Oh, they also have deep-fried Klondike bars at the fair every summer. 🙂

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  6. The cro-nut has been on my radar for several months because Dominique Ansel is my dear pal Coco’s go-to neighborhood bakery. She has gotten me treats from there. Their pastries are all top echelon. Sometimes, on weekend mornings, she likes to stop in to pick up a treat for her bf, but then she’d see “this line of imbeciles! You won’t believe these idiots!” — and would have to change plans. I have many emails and texts from her where she is venting about this situation. As a regular customer, I pointed out that she had a stiletto up on the cro-nut craving slobs, but she refuses to exploit her insider status on principle. Plus, it’s not a pastry that appeals to her. Coco’s like a cat. Very finicky.

    Is the ramen burger on your radar yet? I regret not taking a swig of Mylanta before reading about it.

    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/08/29/ramen-burger-reddit_n_3829466.html

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  7. Ha- Ha! Love this! I had heard about the Cronut, and then my son went to visit a friend in Queens this summer. This is the first time he had seen NYC and as soon as he got home my husband and I asked him not “Did you see the Empire State Building etc. etc, but, Did you get a Cronut?? He very correctly did not even dignify this with a response, other than to roll his eyes. Of course I had no idea the difficulty involved in obtaining one. I think I would totally be satisfied with a faux-nut.

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  8. There’s always a new THING isn’t there? I’ve been hearing about these. I’m sure they’ll Minneapolis in ten years like everything else. 😉 Loved this line: “And I would respond, fully ensconced in the mob mentality that has gotten me to this point: yes, but it’s worth it.” HA!

    I can’t think of a food thing here except except bacon in ice cream. Which I can’t eat. We’re still into salted caramel around here. I know . .. so behind.

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    1. I’ve heard that faux-nuts have infiltrated Chicago. So here’s hoping they get to your neck of the woods soon!

      Salted caramel was so last week. 🙂 (I think I have some in my freezer right now.)

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  9. Well shoot I would have stood in line for you while I was visiting. And the bargain price: 49.99 🙂 Now I think you have to try one so all of us can live vicariously through you.

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  10. This is the first I’ve heard of ‘Cronuts’! Doesn’t sound too shabby!
    My favorite pastry? Yes. All of them, I mean. I’ve yet to come across one I didn’t like!
    In St. Louis ‘Panera’ is pretty big (it started out – I think – as St. Louis Bread Company). They do all kinds of pastry stuff, too. Oh, and IMO’s. Which is pizza. And an acquired taste (I suspect I’m the only one in the entire city who has not yet acquired the taste).
    🙂

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      1. I was SO disappointed when they closed the last UNO’s in STL (not that I’m generally big on deep dish, but I did really like UNO’s). I still can’t believe there is a market for an IMO’s on almost every corner but the entire metro area can’t keep ONE UNO’s going… LAME!!! 😦

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  11. I really really REALLY want to try a cro-nut (ever since I heard of them) but I too would probably not stand in line. OR buy one on the blackmarket and I definitely wouldn’t have sent an email reserving the $250 order. That said, my favorite pastry probably really is a croissant, specifically the ones I’ve had freshly baked in Paris 🙂

    BTW, my son’s GF lives in NYC and she’s promised to report in to me when she has her first cro-nut (and I’m seriously thinking of slipping my son $50 before he goes to visit her again…. okay, that’s not true)

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  12. I first heard about these on BBC yesterday! BBC for god’s sake?! Is this international news? The segment also featured ‘duffins’ 🙂 Seemingly they’re all the rage in Japan and the UK now as well. You might have a better chance of getting one there! Great post! Linda.

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    1. I’d be lying if I said that I hadn’t immediately Googled “duffin” upon reading your post. It seems that Starbucks is getting in on the “duffin” act.
      Have you heard of the “pie-ffle”? A pie plus a waffle? Hmmm…

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