Cronut Crazed

Wednesday, June 05, 2013

Given my propensity for chronicling everything New York, as well as most everything that enters my belly, I would be remiss if I didn't address the current baked goods madness sweeping through the city. If you haven't heard of it yet, let me introduce you to the almighty cronut.

This love child of a flaky croissant and a custard-filled doughnut has driven New York to madness. Cronut fans line up at Dominique Ansel Bakery as early as 6:45am, in the hope of taking home just two of these baked goodies before supply runs out at around 10am. Yes, you read that right, just two. Chef Dominique has instituted a two-cronut limit per person in an attempt to give as many people in line a taste of these coveted goodies. Three weeks ago, the limit was 6 per person; this week, it dropped down to 2 despite production having gone up. That should give you an idea of how ridiculously high the demand is for this mega pastry.

It is such a prized commodity, in fact, that there is now a black market for cronuts. A quick search on Craigslist brings up at least 12 posts of enterprising folks providing line up and delivery services to the city's cash-flush, line-averse cronut addicts for as much as $40 a pop! Extremely hands-on Chef Dominique is well aware of it and has been trying to stamp down on the scalping, tweeting today:
I've found Chef Dominique's egalitarian approach to cronut distribution refreshing. No one, absolutely no one, gets a cronut without putting in time on the line: not the Associated Press, not The Chew, not even Hugh "Jean Valjean" Jackman!

So how on earth did the unicorn of pastry goods end up in my lucky little hands? Readers, I reckon I must have done something fantastically sweet in a past life because I've now had two versions of the cronut purely through the generosity of friends who went to great lengths to procure them. A few weeks ago, my surrogate New York Mum and Dad, Bong and Bads, shared the precious rose-flavored cronuts they took home after waking up bright and early to line up. Then, last night, I was a lucky guest to a bacchanalia of Korean barbeque, Sapporo-soju bombs, narwals, and lemon-maple cronuts engineered by my friends Avery and Ajay (let me clarify that narwals were merely discussed and not consumed in this exercise).

My personal feeling about cronuts? I'm glad one has to go through extreme lengths to procure them because if they were available on every corner, my waistline would be in grave danger. While May's rose vanilla cronut was a shade too rich for my liking, June's lemon-maple version hit my sweet spot. The subtly tart lemon flavor is the perfect counterpoint to the flaky layers inlaid with rich custard. And did I mention cronuts are being rolled in maple sugar all month this June? It's bikini suicide, I tell you. I could eat A LOT of those guys given the chance, so I'm thankful that the laws of supply and demand ensure that more often than not, I won't have that chance.

If each new month means the conception of a new cronut flavor possibly even more addicting than the last, however, then we should probably brace for a lengthy cronut obsession. This may just be the beginning.

Dominique Ansel Bakery is located at 189 Spring Street 
between Sullivan and Thompson in New York

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  1. I've heard a lot about cronuts, and a friend of mine in NYC managed to brave the line to get some, but one thing I don't understand is are they really little? Or is it just every picture that's taken makes them look tiny? Or perhaps my brain's perspective is messed up :) They do look fantastic nevertheless.

    1. Hi Naomi! They're not tiny at all; I would say the same diameter as a regular donut but definitely taller because of the layers. They really are fantastic though. Hoping you get a chance to try them soon!

  2. OMG they sound devine, in some ways I hope they never make it to London as I might end up putting a lot of weight on haha!

    1. Agreed! It is definitely a blessing AND a curse that they're so hard to get!

  3. hmm look great! Like croissant if I look your picture....donuts croissant weird thing when yoou are french (i am myself french and a good croissant fan) am definetly trying that when I will come to NY but currently I prepare a trip in germany the land of the bretzel and the sausages without forgetting beeeer :) (so who's speaking about weight!) a long stay in Hamburg city "the habor city"...I hope i can try new specialities there ;)
    (by the way your full of eating things ahha culinarian blog then) ;))))