By Noëmie Carrant, Staff Writer
The cronut has finally come to Boston. Foodies, get mildly excited. Non-foodies, here is the gist: A cronut is a pastry invented by Dominique Ansel. A blend between a French croissant and an American donut, the cronut became an instant hit, ensuing a cronut craze, with people waiting in huge lines at 5 a.m. for Ansel’s New York bakery to open at 8 a.m. The cronut even has its own black market: You can either pay a man or woman to stand in line for you, or pay $20-100 for one pastry. It’s a thing. Even Hugh Jackman had to stand in line.
When I first heard of the cronut, I wasn’t that interested in tasting it. Being both French and American, I had mixed feelings about this hybrid pastry.
My French side (which has a heavy, snobby French accent): “Great [roll those R’s], somebody has found a way to Americanize and destroy something as sacred and timeless as le croissant.”
My American side: “WHO CARES, THINK OF ALL THE DELICIOUSNESS, NOM NOM NOM NOM NOM.”
They balanced each other out.
But that’s also when I realized that a cronut is the offspring of America and France. Just like me. I am a cronut. I just had to taste myself.
So, when Eater Boston posted that cronuts were coming to Boston, I knew what I wanted to do. Find a cronut, eat the cronut, take a picture of the cronut, write about the cronut. Thus began my journey.
I rushed and arrived right before the closing of Café de Boston, which also happened to be selling the pastries. Cleverly renamed “Croissant-Donut” (for Ansel has trademarked the term and will sue you if you use it), the cronut copycat can be yours for $2.95. It comes in three flavors: vanilla, chocolate and strawberry. I grab the last three and sit a table, take out my phone, INSTAGRAM and stare.
They’re as tall and wide as cheeseburgers, each one with a different colored glaze. I pick the vanilla one up with two hands, just like a burger, and bite down. My teeth go through layer and layer of what tastes like sweet croissant, with the hard glaze melting on my tongue. There’s the layering and fluffiness of a croissant, with the glaze and frying of a donut. An interesting sweet combo that works. I finish my pastries and leave.
Cronuts, or Croissant-Donuts, are good. They didn’t blow my mind or change my life. But you should go to the Financial District to get one from Café de Boston and experience it (vanilla and chocolate are good, strawberry is a bit strange). Dominique Ansel’s original cronuts have cream filling, so they’re probably better, but are they worth the 3-hour long wait? Probably not. Then again, you can always check for yourself. The long weekend is coming and New York is only a bus ride away from here.
Cafe de Boston or Dominique Ansel? Let us know in the comments!