Taking a bite out of my cronut was even sweeter after braving the Union Square subway at 5:45 a.m. When I arrived in SoHo a few minutes after 6, the line starting at Dominque Ansel Bakery had already begun to wrap around the block. But my roommate and I were ready to brave the two-hour wait to get a taste of New York’s hottest dessert. Like the centaur of baked goods, the cronut is a cross between a croissant and donut—flaky and fried, coated in sugar with cream inside. Its cross-section is as delicate and intricate as a honeycomb. Cronut creator Ansel changes the cream’s flavor every month. When I visited in August, the taste of the moment was coconut, though other, more exotic, ones have included Apple Creme Fraiche, Rose Vanilla, and Blackberry Lime. Known as a child for once individually picking off every coconut shaving on a piece of cake, I was a bit wary of trying the delicacy.
Luckily, I was in for a treat. This cream was unlike anything I had ever tasted—light and milky, it had only the slightest hint of fresh coconut. While I was indulging, cream would ooze out of the opposite end, but I made sure to catch it with my hand every time—each crumb and drip of cream was sacred in this dessert that I can now veritably say was one of the best foods I have ever eaten. And while I would have bought five more (even at the trendy price of $5 a pop), customers are only allowed two at a time. Walking down Broadway, I carried my golden paper box by the handle—feeling not so different from the way Charlie must have felt after he found his golden ticket—with one cronut left to savor the next day.
This article appeared in the February 2014 issue.