Photograph by Anthony Behar/Sipa USA

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Customers wait as long as five hours outside Dominique Ansel Bakery in New York City to buy cronuts, a cross between a doughnut and a croissant.

Photograph by Anthony Behar/Sipa USA

The Cronut Craze Goes Global

New croissant-doughnut hybrid has fans—and imitators—around the world.

It was bound to happen. In these days of goat cheese-and-honey ice cream and bibb lettuce cocktails, palates are primed for the unexpected. People are obsessed with the new. And if it happens to be delicious, the world pretty much goes mad.

Case in point: the cronut. Bearing the looks of a doughnut and the inner workings of a croissant, this confectionary hybrid has become a near-global sensation since its creator, Dominique Ansel, debuted it at his New York City pastry shop in May.

"It's very much like a doughnut and croissant and yet completely different from both," says Ansel, who grew up in Beauvais, France, just north of Paris. "You have the crispy sugary outside of a doughnut and the flaky tender layers of a croissant on the inside."

And it's not simply fried croissant dough, Ansel adds—his dough is a specialized mix developed specifically for the cronut.

Customers line up in the early morning hoping to score an order of Ansel's cronuts (ten bucks for two). And those growling stomachs aren't just from around town. "We've had people come from Australia, Brazil, Singapore, Berlin, the Philippines, and even Kenya," says Ansel.