The Cronut is by no means underground. In fact, it is objectively one of the least hipster things to eat in New York City considering the fact that hundred-person lines used to form outside of the bakery where it was invented, Dominique Ansel. Still need convincing? It even has its own Wikipedia page.
If you need to catch up on the craze, here are a few facts:
- The Cronut is a hybrid between a croissant and a donut that hit New York City in 2013.
- The Cronut was created by Dominique Ansel at his bakery of the same name located in SoHo.
- Dominique Ansel produces 350 Cronuts a day; no more, no less.
- The Cronut was trademarked by Dominique Ansel. Thus, SoHo is the only place you can try an official Cronut.
That said, it has been nearly three years since the release of the crunchy, flaky phenomena that has captivated the stomachs of tourists and New Yorkers alike. I couldn’t help but wonder how the art of the Cronut has evolved in the past three years. What ever happened to the Cronut and the bakery that it calls home? This is what I learned during my trek downtown.
You no longer have to wait in a giant line to order a Cronut
Instead of braving the winter elements at 6 am – I repeat, 6 am – to guarantee yourself a couple moments of breakfast bliss, you can now simply pre-order your Cronuts here, two weeks in advance. A select number of Cronuts are reserved for pre-orders each week. Every Monday at 11 am, the Cronut schedule reopens. You even select a pick-up window for maximum efficiency. This strategic window allows you to simply stroll straight up to the counter when arriving at Dominique Ansel’s on the day of your deliberate destiny.
The rite of passage originally associated with Cronuts, i.e. hours of long line waiting, is still symbolic of Ansel Dominique’s Bakery but no longer necessary. Now, the entire process takes around five short, stress-free minutes.
I never thought I would be in favor of equal opportunity in the context of Cronuts, but as a full-time student rooted thirty minutes away from Ansel’s I wouldn’t have been able to sample this icon without $100 and a Craigslist middleman just a few short years ago. If only such a pre-order system existed for the unreal milkshakes at Black Tap, right?
You can get triple the yum if you plan ahead
You are allowed to order up to six Cronuts if you choose to pre-order. This is three times the number of Cronuts one is allowed when opting to wait in line the same day. Why wait for hours to eat less? You don’t need to take Intro to Econ to know that. Especially if you are aiming to treat a suite of six girls as I was, plan ahead. Otherwise, risk being subjected to the puppy dog eyes of your suitemates as they ask for a bite (or just hide your treats from wandering eyes).
There is a new flavor every month
When the Cronut first debuted, it only came in vanilla-rose. Don’t get me wrong, vanilla and rose are refreshingly sophisticated when paired with a hybrid of what are traditionally such sweet desserts, but so are Valrhona chocolate champagne, bosc pear and sage, and bergamot and Earl Grey which are just a sampling of the flavors previously offered by the bakery.
A new Cronut flavor premieres on the first of the month, every month. I sampled the milk chocolate cassis, an undoubtedly European flavor that hollers back to Ansel’s French origins. Talk about good.
The flavor for March is slated to be raspberry coconut with lime sugar.
New desserts have debuted since the Cronut
If hearing the word Cronut results in an automatic eye roll, it may be time for you to move onto more recent edible inventions such as the cookie shot (make a DIY version here) or frozen s’mores. Like the Cronut, both are hybrids of classics.
Unlike the Cronut, you do not have to wait in a massive line or order them in advance. The cookie shot, a popular newcomer at the bakery, is a fusion of a cup-shaped chocolate chip cookie paired with milk. You can check out the rest of Dominique Ansel’s menu here.