America has never shied away from creating new food fads by throwing unlikely ingredients or concepts together. Sometimes, the inventions are mere celebrations of outrageous gluttony, like the Luther Burger aka The Bacon-Donut Burger, a hamburger or cheeseburger with glazed doughnuts used on either side of the burger patty, instead of a bread bun. Or how about The Pizzabon, made by the bakery chain Cinnabon? This creation turns a sweet pastry into an artery clogging, savoury adventure by replacing the cinnamon with tomato sauce, the gooey glaze with cheese, and lines its rolls with pepperoni. However, it’s not just the Americans who tread where no chefs dare to venture. The Scottish were the ones who invented the deep-fried Mars bar, which is unsurprising seeing as they also who came up with haggis.
Most of these bizarre food fads were probably invented after a long night of drinking and one dare too many. In most cases, these bizarre dishes remain localized, often at the restaurant/bar/diner that spawned them. It is rare that they become a global trend. The Cronut™, is one such phenomenon and it needs to be stated that it was not born out of a drunken stupor, but rather invented by a respected chef.
The classic (and origional) Cronut took 2 months and more than 10 recipes before it was perfected. It is not simply croissant dough that has been fried like a doughnut. It is made with a special laminated dough (from the chef’s own recipe – hence the trademark), which is then proofed and then fried in grapeseed oil at a specific temperature. Once cooked, each Cronut is flavored in three steps: (1) rolled in sugar, (2) filled with cream, and (3) topped with glaze. The entire process takes up to 3 days, and Cronuts are best eaten when fresh as they have a short shelf life.
The Cronut craze took less than 6 months to go global, and the frenzy to sample the origional – despite the price of $5 (aprox R50) per Cronut – has reached such a peak that the bakery’s website provides strict guidelines on how to queue for this elusive pastry fix:
“The lines start outside as early as 2.5 hours prior to opening (we open at 8am from Mon-Sat and 9am on Sun). Please note that we are not officially opened until our hours of operation and cannot service the line that starts earlier. As a rule of thumb, if you arrive prior to 6:00am on a weekday, you have a great chance of getting a Cronut™. (Weekends tend to be busier.) Please note there is a 2-person limit for in-store purchases. When in line, please do be considerate of the residences in the neighborhood and the others in line”.
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