The Dunkin’ Donuts Not-A-Cronut Was Inevitable
When Dunkin’ Donuts stealthily unveiled its Cronut knockoff in foreign markets last year, a donut-croissant mashup they called the “New York Pie Donut,” we experienced a range of emotions. Sure, it probably wouldn’t be as good as the original Cronut. On the other hand, as Homer might say, “mmmm forbidden foreign cronut.”
Why were we in America denied the chance to sample this probably forgettable stand-in?
At long last, our chance has arrived. On November 3, Dunkin’ Donuts will roll out its not-a-cronut, known simply as the “croissant donut” for a limited time. The recipe is not quite the same as the one we saw in foreign markets, a spokesman tells us. And it is definitely not the same as the recipe used to make the famous Cronut at the Dominique Ansel Bakery in New York. That process is quite labor intensive, resulting in a very limited supply of Cronuts each day, the kind that creates black markets and hours-long waiting times. “Are we copying a specific bakery in New York? The answer is no,” John Costello, Dunkin’s president of global marketing and innovation, tells the Associated Press, unconvincingly.
Much has already been written of a tongue-and-cheek nature about the Dunkin’ Definitely-Not-A-Cronut-So-Don’t-Sue-Us, as well as the chutzpah with which they deny its genesis. But should we be surprised to see it arriving to fast food menus? This is how food trends work, after all. The foodie world develops an idea that seems très choquant. Say: bacon in desserts. Or eating kale even though it seems like chewing on a house plant. Eventually, these trends proliferate. We see them in more and more restaurants. And finally, they are watered down and marketed to the masses. We end up with bacon sundaes at Burger King and sautéed kale at Panda Express. Then, like Dr. Frankenstein, the foodies turn around and scoff at their monstrous creation. It is a bit like Miranda Priestley’s derisive explanation of Andy’s cerulean sweater in The Devil Wears Prada. Clothing trends, too, move from runway to clearance bin, with the execution suffering a bit along the way. Thus did the cronut go from Dominique Ansel Bakery to other high-end bakeries that tried their own takes on the idea to… finally, at the end of the line, Dunkin’ Donuts.
Will the croissant donut be good? If you are the kind of person who seeks it out ironically, then no, probably not in the way you want it to be. But it will be $2.49, and you will not have to wait in line for it. And there’s something to be said for having the ability to eat a knock-off croissant donut on a whim. And better yet, the forbidden foreign cronut is forbidden no more.
Christopher Hughes contributed reporting.