The Cronut Craze is Spiraling Out Of Control

If you are a foodie, by now you have heard about the legend of the Cronut. The Cronut is a hybrid of a doughnut and a croissant, brought to you by pastry chef Dominique Ansel and sold at his New York bakery, Ansel's SoHo. Chef Ansel introduced the world to Cronuts on May 10, and the exclusive dessert has been making quite a name for itself. 

Ansel's Soho has made it very clear that the Cronut is not simply half doughnut half croissant. In fact, the baker has offered his process to the public: 

"The Cronut is first proofed and then fried in grapeseed oil at a specific temperature. Once cooked, each Cronut™ is flavored in three ways: 1. rolled in sugar; 2. filled with cream; and 3. topped with glaze. Cronuts are made fresh daily, and completely done in house. The entire process takes up to 3 days," according to the pastry chef. Still, there is something that cannot be replicated about Ansel's Cronut. The search for the treat is taking New York by storm ... or hurricane might be the more apt term. 

In New York, a Cronut might just be more valuable than gold. And the sky-high demand has allowed Ansel to place some stringent restrictions on the sale of his coveted treat. Lines form outside the bakery on 189 Spring St as early as 2 hours prior to opening (8 a.m. from Mon-Sat and 9 a.m. on Sun). Plus, to ensure that the first customers don't buy out all the Cronuts, Ansel has placed a limit of two Cronuts per person. The treats sell for a pretty penny — $5 a piece. Still, they're selling like wildfire.


In the midst of all the hype, there are a few ways to get your hands on a Cronut without waiting in line. According to the official website, patrons may pre-order a batch of Cronuts starting on Mondays at 11 am by phone. But the pre-order list is currently full. If you're feeling extremely ambitious, you can place a large order for 50 or more Cronuts ... but give Ansel a month's notice. 

In fact, ordering 50 Cronuts at once doesn't seem like a bad idea given the black market that has formed around Cronut fiends trying to get their hands on the elusive treat. According to Fox News, Cronuts are selling for up to $40 a pop on a black market. According to the Huffington Post, one craigslist entrepreneur even posted that he offers "professional line waiters to save you time and get your much deserved cronut," but for a steep price of $80 a piece. Please, someone, reassure me it's not worth it. 

The obsession has turned ugly as Ansel has been forced to battle a whole host of Cronut copycats. 

Since the sweet treat was unveiled in May, there has been literally dozens of Cronut-like pastries invented under such creative names as "Doissants," "Crognets," "Dough'Ssants," and "Cro-Nots." According to Fox, dozens of Cronut-like pastries invented under such creative names as "Doissants," "Crognets," "Dough'Ssants," and "Cro-Nots" have tried to mimic Ansel's creation.  

Moreover, a spokesperson for Ansel's bakery said they have "received threatening emails from associates and family members of infringers threatening to direct the public and third parties to not support the business of our small bakery for nothing more than vindictive purposes."

Can the Cronut possibly live up to the hype? According to Business Insider, talk is cheap. After a taste test that many New Yorker's might sell a limb to experience, the lucky testers declared "The Cronut is "pretty good."

"It tastes a lot more like a doughnut than a croissant, though it's got a nice crunchy layer on the outside."

Plus, they added that the vanilla cream wasn't an extraordinary addition, and it even made the pastry a bit soggy. Their final words of wisdom: "It's probably not worth waiting an hour in line for, unless you're truly crazy about pastries."


Most people have chosen to disregard the advice and maintain the chase for the Cronut. But things really hit the fan on July 3 when a man posted on Craigslist that he would be willing to trade his Cronut in exchange for sexual favors, according to the Huffington Post.

 

 

 


 

Whether or not the Cronut really deserves its reputation, only the most ambitious foodies will be able to tell you. But one thing is for sure, Chef Ansel has truly done something groundbreaking, and he's sent New Yorkers into a frenzy trying to get their hands on his one-of-a-kind creation.  

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Hannah Loewentheil

I am a Senior at Brown University where I am studying international relations and non-fiction writing. Follow me on twitter @hrl792.

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