What’s the fuss about Cronuts?

The line started in the middle of the block at 189 Spring Street in Soho and wound way around the corner at Thompson Street. Stephanie Hilliard, an employee of the federal government, had ridden her bicycle from Flatbush and Parkside and was the first in line. She arrived at 4:50 a.m. On that lonely street, the next in line showed up at 5:30 a.m. In line for what?

Hilliard like all those behind her waited until 8:00 a.m. when the doors were opened by bakery owner and pastry chef Dominique Ansel to buy Cronuts.

The Cronut, a cross between a croissant and donut with a flavored filling –its name trademarked by Ansel–hit New York by tsunami in early May. Because there is a very limited amount baked each day, since day one, anxious foodies line up well before the shop opens. Ansel changes filling flavors every month.

“I had the maple-lemon, last month,” Hilliard said, explaining that she initially came because she wanted to see what all the hoopla was about. Of the Cronut, “It (the filling) was well-balanced and the lemon was not overpowering,” adding, “I want to try the new flavor, blackberry.” There’s a two-Cronut buying limit and the second of her purchase was destined to a friend for her birthday.

After the purchase, Hilliard sat at table in an air-conditioned back foyer waiting for her friend, Joe Lim, behind her in line–the two had been students together at Cooper Union. These two were like Cronut buddies, having bought their first ones also together. “Um, that’s good. I like this flavor more than the lemon,” Lim said, after his first bite.

At the table next to the two college pals, two tourists, on a five-day visit from San Francisco, both engineers, opened the bags that held their purchases.

They heard about the bakery and Cronuts on-line and Andrea Gardley thought, “We must bring this our lives.” (Many other tourists also found their way to this phenomenon.) The two waited since 6:00 a.m. to get in. And, having purchased other goodies too, the vacationers did a taste test, right there, including a very popular and not-as-limited the DKA– a kind of crispy croissant that has been out for over a year. After this early breakfast, Gardley was heading back to her hotel for a nap.

Isa Fleming with her nephew Jibri Standford, who live in Co-op City, arrived at the long line around 8:00 a.m. By the time the two got to the counter at 10:00 a.m., the bakery was well sold-out of Cronuts.

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