Rayner’s take on the latest food craze

Last month I wrote about the latest TikTok food craze, the crookie, which a lot of you (understandably) didn’t think looked very appetizing. The Guardian’s food critic, Jay Rayner, gives us his take on this craze and the others that preceded it, noting that this type of super-hyped food has a long history. In the 17th century, fresh garden peas were all the rage and the trend annoyed one of Louis XIV’s mistresses, who wrote about it.

The at-home Cronutâ„¢ pastry from Dominique Ansel: The Secret Recipes

Later crazes include pineapples in the 18th century, and “poultry mania” in the 19th, where people competed to see who could raise the largest chicken. Rayner says that while it’s easy to roll your eyes at people standing in hours-long lines just to buy one pastry – or in the case of Cedric Grolet’s shop, to catch a glimpse of the chef handing out samples – we shouldn’t be too dismissive of them. Think about how novel tropical fruits were to people in northern Europe when the first ships to circumnavigate the globe brought these and more exotic treasures back home.

Rayner confesses that he, too, succumbs to crazes. He stood in line for 45 minutes in New York to get one of Dominique Ansel’s Cronuts, which he said was delightful. He’s off to Paris now, and said that he will probably try a Crookie while he’s there, even if he thinks the mania over them is a bit silly. It reminds me of the long lines at the State Fair’s most popular food booths: people know exactly what they are getting since they’ve been there before, but there is something magical about getting something that’s only available for a very brief window each year. I’m not keen on waiting in line, but I have done my fair share of it, including for the beignets at Cafe du Monde in New Orleans. They were worth it.

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  • slimmer  on  May 10, 2024

    Hmm. I had coffee and beignets at Cafe du Monde in 1992, and don’t remember any lines. Just went in by myself and had some at a table. Nothing particularly memorable, frankly.

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