Inside the Makings of Cronut Hysteria
In honor of the Cronut's first anniversary this weekend, we remember its explosive birth. The folks over at Grub Street, who actually first broke the story of the hybrid pastry, just published an interesting piece on its history that includes a blueprint straight from Dominique Ansel's bakery. (It’s covered in oddball scribbles including a banana doodle and a note to get Ansel to stop drinking coffee.) Ansel took months to test and perfect the recipe, but he could not have predicted the magnitude of his contribution to the world of pastry.
This week, the James Beard Award winner revealed to us just how quickly his creation went viral. Hours after Grub Street featured an online preview, he remembers that an editor called him to say that site traffic had shot up and the piece had already been linked in 140 places across the Internet. "We launched the very next day knowing that it would be a big thing, but boy…" says Ansel's partner Amy Ma. They sold out in 15 minutes that day and it only took a couple of days for lines to stretch down the block, with 100 to 200 desperate Cronut enthusiasts anxious for a taste. Within weeks, Ansel had to begin employing security guards, not only to keep the peace in line, but to hinder scalpers who were selling Cronuts for over eight times the retail price.
Since then, he's unveiled more showstopping desserts like Frozen S’mores, Magic Souffle, Cookie Shots and as of today, the Waffogato. But for those of us who witnessed its meteoric rise, the Cronut will always be our frosted Woodstock, our pastry-cream-filled man on the moon, our edible shot heard 'round the world.