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.
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?
What is your favorite pastry? What is the Big Thing in your town?
Have a great weekend, everyone!