Food fads have come and gone over the years. Some flash brightly across the sky, then crash and burn like a meteorite into Earth. Others streak across the sky, then fade away just a little, remaining on the horizon still active, until they have a resurgence in popularity again and again like Haley's Comet. Today's new now next thing is the cronut. If you haven't already heard about--WHAT ARE YOU LIVING UNDER A ROCK! If you have heard about it, you're probably already sick about over-hearing about it. It's a cross between a croissant and a donut created by famed Chef Dominique Ansel at his New York bakery and has attracted lines and rock star fame like no food has in quite some time. People wait hours in line to get and try one--if they live in New York. The rest of the nation and oddly the world have to content themselves with knock-offs that seep their way into the foodie scene.

San Francisco's first foray into the mania hit some Lee's Delis around town this week. Called the cronot--it's by Posh Bakery and comes in 4 flavors at $2.50 a pop--regular glazed custard filled, strawberry glazed custard filled, chocolate glazed and cinnamon sugar custard filled. Being a sweets buff I am of course I had to try them so I made an early morning foray to one of the few Lee's that had some and here's what they look like.....



The looks are there, except for the weird pink frosting on the strawberry. My first impression based on their small size (fit in palm of my hand) is they remind me of those Pilsbury biscuits with all the layers and then someone has just cut a hole in them and deep fried them. I was surprised at how thick and chewy they were. I was expecting light flakey buttery layers like a croissant but they were not anything even remotely close to that. They were also teeth achingly sweet. The three glazed ones all tasted pretty much the same--like an over-cooked donut drowning in sugar. The custard filling was like a drop here and there but didn't add much but a hint of vanilla flavor that eventually succumbed to all the sugar glaze. I thought the cinnamon sugar would have more promise since it was lightly sprinkled and drenched like the glazed ones but it, alas was just too chewy and treacly like the rest. 

I then had the brilliant idea--hey maybe they will be better heated! So I popped them in the microwave for just a few seconds and you know what? It didn't make one wit of difference. It just became warm chewy sweetness. Then I was like maybe I can melt a little butter on it to help the saltiness offset the sugar and then I thought better of it and just gave up.

The words epic fail get bandied about for many things and I think here it is quite suitable. Seems they've gotten the look and the layers in between right

but obviously they are not sure how to make a croissant because the dough here is overworked and thick and then they've overcooked it till it's is chewy and hard to both eat and cut. As it's the first foray into the cronut knock-off world I can only hope they either try to make this better of move on and let someone else do it. Jumping on a bandwagon is a fine thing if you can make something tasty that people want to eat. If you aren't worried about that and just want to make some quick money then you should be ashamed and get all the bad reviews you deserve. This one will just be one in a long line of 'em. 

Don't get caught up in this hype, yes we may not all be able to fly 3000 miles to New York then wait in line for 12-15 hours for the real thing, but we also shouldn't be subjected to even this kind of sub-par baking.