New York's Serious Case of Cronut Fever, and How to Cope
Rao Cronut fever is highly contagious.
Are you experiencing feelings of extreme happiness and sadness? Have you lost interest in other breakfast pastries? You may be suffering from cronut fever.
Last Friday, when we first tasted Dominique Ansel's newly unleashed pastry--a delicious, delightful croissant-doughnut hybrid with a delicately rose-flavored glaze--we had no idea that half the city was about to lose it over cronuts. Neither did the pastry's creator, Dominique Ansel, who first began tinkering with his idea for a French-style doughnut about two months ago.
Last Friday, a small batch of 50 cronuts debuted on the menu. By Saturday, dozens of people were lining up at 7:30 a.m., before the bakery even opened, to get their hands on one of Ansel's exquisite rings of fried dough. And by Wednesday, people were crying angry tears when they found out the last cronut had been sold, while others gave baristas the finger on their way out of the pâtisserie.
Courtesy Dominique Ansel Bakery Cross-section of those soft, peel-away layers
Ansel is now frying an average of 200 cronuts a day. He's also fielding calls from curious pastry chefs in Hong Kong, Melbourne, and L.A., and working on trademarking the word (Update: That's probably a good idea). "It's going big!" He said over the phone this morning.
Meanwhile, customers are rushing the store and buying cronuts by the dozen, Ansel says, which makes it hard for the small shop to keep up with demand. So while it's nice that Cronut.org, a fan site for "cronutophiles," has launched, it seems what people really need is some way to deal with their feelings of anger and depression when the cronuts run out.
Take a deep breath--Ansel is an extraordinarily talented pastry chef whose work goes beyond marrying the croissant with the doughnut. Yes, the cronut is a masterpiece, but Ansel's shop is full of other good stuff, too. Console yourselves with a buttery kouign-amman, hot from the oven, or a dark and beautiful canelé, and then set the alarm a few minutes earlier for tomorrow.
A last word of advice for those lucky bastards who do manage to get a hold of one or two: Cut your cronuts up and share them with friends. Just be sure to use a serrated knife so you don't crush the layers, as Saveur's Gabriella Gershenson demonstrates here: