Ladies and gents, it’s July 1st. My memory indicates that this should mean a marginal celebration in favor of the imminent Fourth of July weekend and its balmy associations, see: a long weekend – typically away – with the unofficial, kind-of-official inauguration of summer in its purest form featuring copious, frivolous, acceptable and highly galvanized alcohol intake. But today it means something dramatically different.
And while it may not render “dramatic” for those of you who are non-tristate denizens (or you know, if you just find yourself teetering on a scale that denotes normalcy), a New York Magazine editor once astutely pointed out that “what makes one a real New Yorker is the conscious decision to become one,” so let’s just agree to bite the collective bullet and recoil/marvel in this revelation together.
And now you’re thinking: what revelation? Spit it out, you verbose queen of the convoluted word. Well, I’m talking about the now ubiquitous Legend of The Cronut™ and the fact that the first day of the new month means that a new flavor (last month was lemon maple, the one before was rose vanilla) is in! Yay! Hooray! I’ve been waiting for what feels like a lifetime!
I never thought we’d live in a world where Fourth of July could find itself coming in at a distant second to a neo-delicacy that has commanded so much attention, I’d almost forgotten that Rihanna and Elizabeth Ann Jones took turns digitally bitch slapping each other late last week.
I’ve never had a Cronut–and I’ll tell you what else: I plan – with conviction – never to have one. But even in spite of my having recently come upon more exposés on the hype surrounding the treat than I have on the New York City mayoral campaigns, detailing ad-nauseum the scene outside the Soho bakery where the only real Cronuts - blessed with a trademark and everything – are made, I had to go there for myself and see with my eyes (not to be confused with the less perceptive stomach) what the hoopla was about.
I’d read that the herds of donut/croissant enthusiasts begin assuming their positions, waiting outside Dominique Ansel’s shop on Spring and Sullivan, hours before its 8AM opening time. This meant that I’d have to get up up at the asscrack of dawn to walk over and sample-size.
The findings? I think somewhere Kanye West is highly disturbed that his ferociously popular lyric, “hurry up with my damn croissant,” commemorates a panettone of the past.
A line longer than that of Opening Ceremony’s 90% off annual sample sale tailed the bakery. A pack of men and women stood bribing earlier line-loiterers to surrender their spots. And after opening, one anonymous woman sat, setting up her cafe table inside the shop with a reflective surface for what I can only imagine was an impromptu Instagram shoot that will garner approximately 62387218 likes.
From what I can tell, the suspicious breakfast fuel think it’s an Hermes Birkin. But as Ansel told Grub Street earlier last month, “this will never be a cronut shop!” He will continue to produce only 2 to 300 daily, limit consumption to two-per-person and consequently appease only the first, let’s say, 100 of approximately 400 people that wait on line for their golden tickets daily.
Cronuts also think they’re green juices. Not because of the comparable nutritional value – don’t be silly – because it is recommended that the pastry be eaten within six hours of purchase. Lastly, I am pretty sure that Cronuts also believe they have the selling power and clout to be considered for Moda Operandi‘s next round of pre-orders–which really makes me wonder about the former supposition.
As for its consumers: the business savvy thieves buy them in two, and resell them at a 950% mark-up from the retail price of five dollars. The deeply gluttonous have been known to feed (hehe) the aforementioned, purchasing the cronuts on a new strain of black market. The egalitarians of Pinterest and other such DIY-food-fostered networks create their own cronuts and share the recipes with their followers. And as for the dumbfounded–me, personally, I continue to wonder why New Yorkers become so damn obsessive about anything that seems limited edition, novel, highly regal, cheap or all of the above. You’d think Isabel Marant was already in-stores at H&M.
Photo via The Bygone Bureau