Is this is the most powerful man in New York?
He’s not a movie star or a rapper, he didn’t start a tech company and he’s not looking to be the city’s next mayor. His name is Dominique Ansel, and he’s a pastry chef.
You’re forgiven if you haven’t been following the craziness surrounding the cronut, but trust me, in certain quarters it’s been a very big deal. Right now in New York it’s easier to score a pair of orchestra seats to Broadway’s Matilda than a couple of cronuts. Pastry fans are lining up two hours ahead of Ansel’s bakery’s 8AM opening—the sole source of the world’s cronut supply since the baker trademarked his creation. The 700% black market premium for a cronut is stiffer than the markup you’d pay to a Times Square ticket scalper. Time Magazine covered the phenomenon, The New Yorker speculated about ‘peak cronut,’ and global pastry lovers salivate as the foreign press anticipates the cronut’s arrival on their shores.
The eye of the storm.
The cronut is a croissant-doughnut hybrid that’s made with a croissant-like dough that’s shaped and fried like a donut. It’s rolled in sugar, filled with vanilla cream, and glazed.
Cronut-making is a labor intensive, 3 hour process, limiting the output to about 200 or so each day, and a single flavor (currently lemon-maple) each month. Even with a newly instituted 2-cronut limit per customer, they’re all gone before the back of the line can make it through the door. The bakery sells them for $5 apiece, but some are flipped on the spot or pop up on Craigslist at crazily inflated prices.
Is the cronut the pet rock of the food world?
When was the last time you blackened something or sprinkled on the oat bran? Americans are notoriously promiscuous eaters, always eager to jump on the latest food trend. In just the past few months we’ve been cycling through cake pops, Sriracha, kale, Greek yogurt, and anything sold from a truck. Vogue has proclaimed this summer ‘The Season of the Cronut,’ but let’s not forget that 2010 was supposed to be ‘The Year of the Korean Taco.’
Cronuts could have the staying power of cupcakes or the shelf-life of a mid-century baked Alaska. Only time will tell.