I had never heard of a Cronut until a few weeks ago, when I was browsing Instagram and came upon a picture of one. I was intrigued.
Introduced four months ago by Chef Dominique Ansel of New York City, a Cronut is a pastry hybrid — half croissant, half donut. A croissant-donut! How has no one ever thought of this before? Could there be anything more brilliant?
The idea is so brilliant, in fact, that the croissant-donut has already spread across the world. Early last week, a buzz started among Jozi food and lifestyle bloggers. “Crois-Nuts” (not Cronuts, mind you — that name is trademarked) were coming to South Africa, via a high-end bakery on Athol Oaklands Road called Belle’s Patisserie. The Crois-Nut debuted at Belle’s last Friday.
Behold: The Crois-Nut.
I’m not usually the type to run out the moment a new gimmick becomes available and buy it. But there’s something about this particular gimmick…I seriously considered driving to Belle’s at 7:30 last Friday morning and becoming one of the first people in South Africa to devour a Crois-Nut. But I restrained myself.
Then I read my blogger friend Wisaal’s Crois-Nut post. My desire became overpowering.
I made plans to meet my friend Louise at Belle’s Patisserie today, at 11:00 a.m. By 11:15, I had a Crois-Nut in my tummy.
I tried the strawberry Crois-Nut first, on a friend’s recommendation. It has strawberry filling inside.
Crois-Nuts look pretty much the same as donuts, in both shape and presentation. But when I took my first bite, I immediately noticed the flaky, croissant-like texture. There is a pleasant, crackly-crispiness that you won’t find in a donut.
The Crois-Nut is a croissant in donut’s clothing.
I ordered the strawberry Crois-Nut and Louise ordered the custard one. Both were excellent and disappeared way too quickly. I immediately wanted more but was afraid of looking like a pig. I was relieved when Louise said she wanted another one too.
Crois-Nuts, round 2. Louise got another custard. I went for chocolate. I really liked the chocolate and the custard but I think strawberry is my overall favorite. There’s also a plain version but I didn’t want to spend R25 ($2.50) on anything plain.
My only complaint about the Crois-Nut is the name. It’s awkward — the word looks weird on paper and doesn’t roll off the tongue.
With all due respect, I propose that the Crois-Nut be renamed the KwaNut. That’s the way the word is pronounced anyway, and it looks much more South African.
(I don’t really know what the word “Kwa” means. I found nothing on Google, and when I asked Lucky he had difficulty explaining. From what I can tell, “Kwa” vaguely translates to “in a place”. Like the “Kwa” in KwaZulu-Natal means “in” Zulu-Natal. Maybe. Kinda. Anyway, I like the sound of it. Kwaaaaaaa!)
Who’s with me?
I think I’m rambling and this post doesn’t make much sense. The sugar has gone to my brain. But stiill, I hope the folks at Belle’s will consider my proposal.
Either way, I highly recommend a Crois-Nut (KwaNut) pilgrimmage. Kwaaaaa!
Belle’s Patisserie: Blubird Shopping Centre, Athol Oaklands Road, Birnam.