What’s Up With the Cronut?

We love talking foodie trends here on Notable (poutine, oysters), and this one-helluva-hybrid may just be our absolute fave. What do you get when you cross the world’s best pastry with the world’s most indulgent snack? That’s right, the cronut… or a sickeningly scrumptious combo of croissant and donut! (We’re not kidding.) This mouthwatering foodie trend originated in New York but has recently taken Canada by storm. We chatted with cronut connoisseur gourmand Alessandro Ficca of Montreal’s popular La Cornetteria to find out just how the tasty treat found its way north, and why he thinks it has become such a major foodie fantasy.

Why so nutty for the cronut?
To give you a better idea of just what the cronut is all about, Alessandro describes it as such: “Part doughnut, part croissant, all goodness! It’s shaped like a doughnut but flakey like a croissant. It’s filled with custard and other delicious flavours, and toped with icing.” Ok, we are definitely listening!

Originally created by New York pastry chef Dominique Ansel, Alessandro caught all the hype about the new treat via social media. “We first learned about the cronut on Facebook because some of our friends were commenting on the craze that was going on in New York. We then thought of trying to make it right here in Montreal, and I believe that we were among the first bakeries in Canada to do it”.  In fact, it is his belief that the cronut blew up the way that it did not only because of the uniqueness of the goodie, but largely because of social media. “It’s fun and different and people are curious; they love to try new things,” explains Alessandro. “The fact that it generated so much buzz gave it a serious snowball effect.”

Get into it
When asked how best to enjoy this flakey hunk of heaven, Alessandro simply states, “Just bite right into it. And make sure you have lots of napkins!” As for partaking in your own cronut, we must make one important note: the cronut is actually trademarked by chef Ansel over in Soho, so you’ll have to plan a little vacay (and wait in line, so we hear) to get your hands on an original. Thankfully, a variety of chefs across Canada have created their own personalized versions, often under the same or similar name (“cronetto” over at Alessandro’s), which we think makes the whole trend that much more fun and everlasting. Speaking of the debate over whether the cronut will end up just another foodie fad – or will stick around as permanent pastry shop fare – Alessandro believes they are here to stay. “I have people telling me that they are addicted to them and crave them during the day,” he says. “That’s definitely a good sign.”   

From the “cronetto” of Montreal, to the “frissant” over at Vancouver’s Swiss Bakery, cronuts are popping up all over Canada. If you’ve had the chance to gorge on one yourself, let us know what you think… and let’s help keep the social media cronut craze alive.

Photo courtesy Dominique Ansel Bakery