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The International Cronut Wars Are On

The original New York creators aren't feeling too threatened given that most of the competition abroad hasn't even sampled the real deal

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Photo: WynLok

The cronut combines everything that is delicious and unhealthy about both a donut and a croissant. Created a few months back by a New York pastry chef at the Dominique Ansel Bakery, it consists of flaky, buttery croissant dough, folded into a classic donut shape and deep fried, then—as if that weren’t enough—injected with some sort of luscious cream and topped off with icing. Lines of people desperate to try one have formed two hours before the bakery opened.

Obviously, this pastry bonanza could not remain a secret for long. Asia, the Wall Street Journal reports, is already all over it. Bakeries from Hong Kong to Singapore to Japan to the Philippines have already churned out their own versions of the sugar bomb snack—inspiring their own block-long lines of hungry patrons. Some of these shops added a distinctly Asian flare to the scrumptious dessert:

Different bakeries have infused local flavors into their versions. Wildflour Cafe has a dulce de leche option. Banderole, which is already selling hundreds of its croissant doughnuts each day, has green-tea flavored ones and even one with a kawaii, or cute, smiley face on it. The Sweet Spot’s rendition has crushed peanuts, caramel and custard. The end product resembles a mini-doughnut burger with a custard patty.

Even Dunkin Donuts—at least those in Asia—are jumping on the cronut bandwagon. Here’s Quartz:

In South Korea, an adaptation of Ansel’s recipe is now being offered by a global donut and coffee chain, rather than a local baker or domestic pastry chain. A Dunkin Donuts spokesman told Quartz that the chain introduced the “New York Pie Donut” this past weekend. Dunkin Donuts also launched a “Donut Croissant” in Manila a few weeks ago but has no plans to introduce them in the US right now. In South Korea, the pastries are being sold in the high-end Seoul neighborhood of Gangnam, as well as Jamsil and Myungdong.

The original New York creators aren’t feeling too threatened, the Journal reports, given that most of the competition abroad hasn’t sampled the real deal, meaning their version of the cronut is just visual interpretations injected with some imagination. Technically, imitators aren’t allowed to use the name “cronut” since it’s been trademarked by Dominique Ansel, Quartz points out, though China in particular has never given much heed to copyrights. 

More from Smithsonian.com:

Kolaches: The Next Big Thing in Pastries and The Tex-Czech Community Behind Them
Can Starbucks Do for the Croissant What it Did for Coffee? 

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