If ever there was a pastry to strengthen Franco-American relations, this is it: the cronut.
Part croissant, part donut, the hybrid pastry has become a buttery, sugary phenomenon in New York City, drawing snaking lines outside its birthplace as early as 6:30 am -- two hours before opening -- and even creating a pastry black market.
Since launching the cronut this month, the Dominique Ansel Bakery has become the hottest bakery in town, generating much buzz and hyperbole from the fooderati.
Popular food blog Grub Street New York, for instance, calls the hybrid pastry life-changing, while Vogue magazine has declared 2013 the summer of the cronut.
The brainchild of Paris-born chef Dominique Ansel, the pastry is made from laminated dough similar to a croissant, proofed, and then thrown in the deep fryer.
While still hot, the pastry is rolled in sugar, filled with cream, and topped with glaze. Every month, Ansel plans to launch a new flavor. For its official launch, the cronut debuted in a pink haze of Rose Vanilla made with rose sugar, Tahitian vanilla ganache, and a rose glaze topped with crystallized rose petals.
This month the pastry will be made over in a Lemon Maple glaze.
Meanwhile, though the bakery sells the pastries for $5 each, cronut fever has created an active black market with posters on Craigslist selling them for $40 apiece.
The bakery makes about 200 cronuts a day. But with a limit of six per customer and pre-dawn line-ups outside the store, the place sells out within minutes.
And copycat bakers beware: the cronut is now an officially registered US and international trademark.
Ansel is well-known in the pastry circuit as being among the top in class. In 2010, he was chosen by Time Out New York as one of the city's "Top Ten Pastry Chefs You need to Know," and in 2009 named one of the "Top 10 Pastry Chefs in the US" by Dessert Professional Magazine.
The verdict: If it wasn't dead in the water before, the cupcake has officially been reduced to crumbs by the cronut craze.