POPSUGAR Food

Inside the Cronut's First Crazed Month of Existence

Jun 5 2013 - 10:10am

Forget about the kouign-amann [1]! All anyone wants to get his or her hands on is Dominique Ansel's [2] Cronut, the trademarked half-croissant, half-doughnut. What's all the hype about? Find out for yourself when you take a look at the Cronut's crazed first month of existence, told through Instagram pictures.

Source: Instagram user hannahmicley [3]

Rosy Beginnings

On May 10, the mayhem began: Dominique Ansel, famed New York City pastry chef, introduced the Cronut [4] to the world. The Cronut is made with a croissant-like, layered dough [5], punched out into a doughnut shape, deep-fried by hand in a large saucepan, rolled in granulated sugar, injected with cream [6] so each flaky layer is filled, iced, and finally topped with a decorative sprinkle. The first iteration of the $5 fried croissant-doughnut hybrid is filled with Tahitian vanilla cream and topped with rose glaze and candied rose petals.

Source: Instagram user dominiqueansel [7]

The Very First Instagrammed Cronut

This is the first hashtagged Cronut image on Instagram. Look at all those croissant layers. Did we mention the sides are dipped in sugar, too, for that iconic doughnut crunch? You can tell this is an early Cronut, because the rose icing seeps off the edges.

Source: Instagram user emilyokey [8]

Cronuts in the Making

Everything is done by hand, which is what makes the Cronut so time-intensive. Chef Ansel says the special dough used is "similar to croissant" [9]; it's then cut like a doughnut.

Source: Instagram user bloomiebloomie [10]

No Need For Advertising

Grub Street tasted the first bite of the Cronut [11] the day before it was released to the public and wrote about it, instigating a full-fledged food mania. New Yorkers flocked to the scene to try the flaky Cronut themselves, only to be told that the last Cronut had been sold and to try again tomorrow (or try one of the other tasty offerings).

Disgruntled customers pshawed the staff, and if they didn't flick them off [12] in person, they gave them a social media middle finger, airing their food anger (hunger?) via Twitter and Instagram. This particularly civil Instagram user who took this photo said, "They gotta put this sign away; they sold out 5 hours ago."

Source: Instagram user melissa_hom [13]

Early Bird Gets the Cronut

Despite the burgeoning attention, Chef Ansel has been about not compromising quality for quantity. Only 200 Cronuts [14] are made each day, all of which sell out within minutes of the store's 8 a.m. opening. So what is a desperate pastry lover to do? Wake up early to get in line like the rest of New York. Others, however, preferred to pay scalpers [15] upwards of four times as much as the Cronut's listed bakery price to forsake the wait.

Source: Instagram user leknight [16]

Line For Miles

Well, maybe that's an exaggeration, but it certainly wraps around the block. Each day, New Yorkers start lining up at 6 a.m. to receive a fresh Cronut when the bakery opens two hours later. But it's not all that bad! Chef Ansel is dedicated to good service, and his staff hands out free, warm madeleines and coffee [17] to Cronut customers while they're waiting.

Source: Instagram user austinvegas [18]

Let the Social Media Sharing Begin

New York City foodies kept non-morning people and the rest of the world extremely jealous by documenting all of their Cronut bliss on social media sites like Instagram and Twitter, using the hashtag #Cronut [19]. The phenomenon's been around for less than a month, and over 500 images have already been tagged on Instagram.

Source: Instagram user cevanisko [20]

Last One

There's only one lucky last customer. This Instagram user exclaimed, "OMG I got the last ones!!!!! Sold out at 8:15am."

Source: Instagram user nyanything [21]

Limit Per Person

Back in the day, you could buy up to six Cronuts at a time, then the limit soon became three [22]. And as of yesterday, ABC's The Chew crew could only purchase two Cronuts [23]. Ansel has become famously democratic: everyone must wait in line, even celebrities. The chef recently tweeted [24], "Thanks @thechew and @AssociatedPress and @ugeats for all waiting in line (like everyone else) for their Cronuts."

Source: Instagram user megando [25]

Cronuts Being Iced

While early-stage Cronuts were glazed exactly like a doughnut, later versions have a piped ring of icing around the top.

Source: Instagram user yaypineapples [26]

This Month's Offering

The rose-flavored May Cronut evolved into a lemon-maple iteration [27] for the month of June. It's stuffed with a lemon zest cream filling, rolled in maple sugar, and topped with a light lemon glaze.

Source: Instagram user dominiqueansel [28]

A Different Flavor Each Month

Chef Ansel declared that while the Cronut concept is here to stay, the flavor of the Cronut would change to match the seasons. The Cronuts on this tray were only workshopped versions! In addition to May's rose Cronut and June's maple-lemon version, Ansel has chosen dominiqueansel [29]

Only One True Cronut

They say imitation is the highest form of flattery, and chef Ansel certainly is flattered by all the imitators [30] out there. But the Cronut is now a trademarked name, which explains why some bakeries are calling their reproductions doissants [31], croissant-donuts, and even Pillsbury Crescent Doughnut [32].

Sources: Instagram user hannahmicley [33]

So What's It Taste Like?

Buzzfeed Food [34] described it as having "the shape, fried-ness, and creamy interior of a doughnut" with "the flaky, delicate pastry layers of a croissant." In other words, perfection. However, the cast of The Chew with celeb chefs like Michael Symon, Carla Hall, and Mario Batali [35] scoffed at the $5 price tag for what essentially would cost $0.20-$0.25 to make at home. Still, we'd rather just fork over $5 once in our lifetime for this French-American halo than spend several hours making, frying, and icing all the Cronut components.

Sources: Instagram user mrespo [36]

Watch the Action in HD

See chef Dominique Ansel discuss his creation [37] and make the Cronut on camera. Prepare to be extremely envious of the fellow who gets to chow down on the Cronut. Try not to furrow your brow when the host talks about how light and fluffy it is.