Creating the next "it" food

Milk & Cookie Shots

In 2013, the cronut hit the NYC food scene like the Beatles descending on the States in 1964. People waited in line for hours to sample this hybrid croissant/donut, the brainchild of Chef Dominique Ansel. The sensation even resulted in cronuts being scalped on Craigslist and, as one might expect, spawned a host of imitators. In this age of internet memes and viral trends, where a sensation can literally happen overnight, other chefs and restaurateurs have asked the question, "How do I create the next cronut?"   

The key to creating the next "it" food may seem counterintuitive: make your product more difficult to obtain. But as luxury brands have known for years, making something exclusive can spur desire. People seem to covet the elusive and crave the unattainable. That is what they wait in line for hours to eat at Franklin Barbecue or get a cupcake from Magnolia Bakery. Or they snap up tickets to a trendy restaurant faster than you can say modernist cuisine. Individuals also want to be part of the "in" crowd, which explains both the willingness to wait and the popularity of "secret" menus at chains like Starbucks and Panera Bread.

Although I have read about the cronut craze, I must admit that I have never eaten one, nor have I ordered off a secret menu, visited Franklin Barbecue, or dined at Alinea. But even if I cannot directly participate in the "it" experience, I am not completely left out in the cold. Instead, I bring "it" to me. Unlike other exclusive items like cars or handbags, if I want a cronut, I can make a cronut. Likewise, I can easily locate Texas brisket recipes with coffee (allegedly one of Franklin Barbecue's essential ingredients). Even though it might be a challenge, Alinea is at my disposal. And if I want to savor Magnolia Bakery's offerings, I need only travel as far as my keyboard. I don't even have to change out of my sweatpants. 

But I might have to wait before I can find a recipe to try Chef Ansel's latest creation: Milk and Cookie Shots (pictured above), debuting at the SXSW festival in Austin, Texas. Is this the next "it" food?                           

photo of Milk and Cookie Shots courtesy of Eater.com

1 Comment

  • Cubangirl  on  3/6/2014 at 7:00 PM

    My husband surprised with a box of cronuts from Safeway for my birthday. I'd been craving a glaced doughnut ( I do about twice a year) so he bought it for me. He had no idea that is was more than a glazed doughnut. Now I've never had the original, but these were superb. Freshly baked they were light and glazed just right. I could have eaten all 4 in one sitting (and they were huge). I've never actually made real doughnuts though I'm very fond of mini cinnamon cupcake doughnuts. I have successfully made croissants, so I maybe in six month I'll try to make a cronut. And why were they not called doughssants? PS, those things in the pictures look very interesting.

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