One Summer ago, I had the liberty of working at my internship in NYC. Going into it I knew I had wanted to take advantage of the opportunity and to seize the moment to do as much one could possibly do in one Summer- one of these goals was to get my hands on an infamous Cronut.
Let’s now take a step back for a moment in order to acquaint oneself with the incredible invention that is the Cronut. A Cronut, as one can probably deduce, is one half croissant and one half doughnut; a sort of diabolical hybrid between the two. Invented by the acclaimed pastry chef Dominique Ansel at his eponymous bakery in Lower Manhattan. It is a simple yet ingenious creation that is rolled in sugar, piped with cream, and then finished with glaze, served to you while still warm. Since its debut in May of 2013, it has brought claim to its popularity with New Yorkers and people world-wide being named one of Time Magazine’s 25 Best Inventions of 2013.
Having heard of the Cronut craze, I was on a mission to understand if the pastry lived up to its hype. I had failed nonetheless as that Summer I had lived in Fairfield, CT and commuted in every morning, and if one wanted to get a hold of one of these pastries, one would have to go and wait in the line at 6 a.m latest to ensure that one would get one. Gratefully, this Summer I was offered a Summer position at the same place I had worked for and had a place secure to live in the city, hence this time I was determined to set out to succeed where I was not able to the previous year.
It was the last week of work. It was a Wednesday, I had gotten plenty of sleep the night before and woke at 5 in the morning and took the B/E train downtown, and walked to Spring Street. Turning the corner, I could see the formation of a line- this was 5:45, the bakery opens at 8. Standing in line more and more people lined up behind me there being about 20 already in front of me. As the morning progressed the line had stretch around the corner and wounded into the park. While we waited the bakers gave us samples of the other menu items. On the menu were Ansel’s other creations such as the chocolate chip shot glasses where one would take a shot of milk from this pastry and then proceed to eat the vessel, and there was the “Frozen S’more” which was a honey marshmallow wrapped around a Tahitian vanilla ice cream with chocolate wafer crisps served on a smoked willow wood branch and torched to order. But everyone in the line was there for the Cronut.
The doors opened at 8 a.m. and I was fairly confident that I would be able to get a Cronut, as I had been told and had read reviews online that only first 100 people or so would be able to get Cronuts. Each customer were limited to only buying 2 at a time. As the first wave of people were let through the door, they quickly came out carrying boxes filled with golden pieces of fried dough attesting to their dedication and commitment to these pastries. Finally upon entering the bakery we again lined up at the counter able to watch the bakers and Ansel at work. All of Ansel’s movements were purposeful and deliberate, a master at his craft. Having appeared on a myriad of talk shows and celeberatized as a chef, Ansel however remains humble and very focused on his work and passion. It was a pleasure to have watch him work.
At last I had obtained a Cronut and I did not wait a second to try it. The first bite into it was unlike anything else. Crispy, flaky layers that you would expect from a good croissant, but with the fried sweet satisfaction of a doughnut. Extraordinary. Each month Ansel’s Bakery comes up with a different flavor for their Cronuts always evoking flavors from the available ingridients that season check out past flavors here. August’s was Yellow Peach Black Tea. All in all one has to experience the pleasure of eating a Cronut, and there is only one place to get them: Dominique Ansel’s Bakery, highly recommended.