It’s the newest pastry craze sweeping the U.S.: the not-so-appetizingly named cronut. And recently the first cronut — a flaky/chewy cross between a croissant and a doughnut — made landfall in Israel, becoming the first kosher-certified cronut available in the world.
The cronut first surfaced in May at Dominique Ansel Bakery in Soho, and became an overnight sensation, with hundreds of people lining up each day at 6 a.m. — two hours before the bakery opened — for the chance to get a taste. Though it retails for $5 (pre-tax), cronuts are being resold for as much as $100 each by “cronut scalpers.” The fad has likely been fueled by New York Magazine’s promise that the cronut would “change your life.” And the cronut fever shows no sign of dying down: Just last Friday the bakery registered its longest line so far, according to reports.
The trend has spread rapidly in the short time since the cronut’s birth, with dozens of other bakeries churning out their own versions of the fried treat, as far as Vancouver, Sydney, London and Seoul – where local Dunkin Donut shops are selling what they have branded a “New York Pie Donut.”
But the first cronut surfaced in Israel at the Lenchner bakery chain in Tel Aviv in late July. Advertising it as “the pastry that has made America go crazy,” the chain — which has three shops in the center of the bustling town, offers three versions of the hybrid pastry — with dulce de leche, vanilla custard and almonds.
“Dough, butter and frying — what could be bad,” said a baker at the Lenchner shop. “It works in America, and it works for us too.”
Sporting the layers of flaky dough that epitomize the cronut, the offerings at Lenchner are decidedly sugary, with a sticky glaze coating underneath a topping of rich frosting. There were no lines out the door at one of the branches The Jewish Week visited last week, but passersby were intrigued at the sight of fried goods — usually only available around Chanukah time.
In a report on the craze on the Hebrew Channel 2 news earlier this week, the anchor opined that: “Only in America can you combine two fattening pastries to make a whole new fattening pastry.”