WHAT IS IT: Dunkin’ Donuts’ new Croissant-Donut
WHO TRIED IT: Mark Marino, PEOPLE.com deputy editor, @mamarino
WHY WE DID IT: Any excuse to eat doughnuts is reason enough.
Confession time: I am obsessed with Dominique Ansel‘s magical confections.
It all began a few year ago with one bite of a flat, crisp, sugar-and-cinnamon Arlette, and I was hooked. Soon, I was dabbling in DKAs before graduating to the really good stuff. The Magic Soufflé. The Christmas Morning Cereal. The Peanut Butter Pretzel “Lobster Tails” with honey-butter sauce. And the Cronut.
Yes, the Cronut.
I have waited in line at 5:30 am for a Cronut (I coudn’t sleep so I figured I’d be productive — don’t hate!), and without question it was worth it. I’ve since found easier (legal) methods for getting my Cronut fix, and you might say that, having experienced the doughnut-croissant hybrid several times in all its flaky glory — and in a variety of flavors — I’ve become a bit of an expert on the subject.
So, when bakeries and retail chains bring out their own version of Ansel’s game changer, I think I’m a pretty good judge of how close it is to the real deal. Take, for instance, Crumbs’s Crumbnut: terrible name, not-so-terrible imitation. Now here comes Dunkin’ Donuts with its own Croissant-Donut, which, at press time, has not been christened with a catchy name. (Might I suggest the Crodunkndon?) The company claims it’s not “copying a specific bakery in New York” with its holey creation, and I believe them — mainly because the Duncrodonsant (trying out another name here) looks and tastes nothing like a Cronut.
You know how when you’re little and your pet parakeet “flies away” so your parents run out and buy a new one but try to convince you it’s the same bird even though it is bigger and has different markings and bears no resemblance the original bird? It’s kind of like that.
For starters, the Dunkin’ product looks, on the surface, like a regular glazed doughnut. That’s because it is glazed. Ansel’s Cronut, however, has a light, almost crustlike exterior with just a thin slick of frosting on top and a sprinkling of sugar along the sides. No glaze.
Cut the Dunkin’ version in half and you’ll see dense, yeasty layers, while the Cronut has thin, airy, flaky layers, which you can literally peel off like rings, and Ansel’s flavor-of-the-month frosting dotted in between.
And flavor is perhaps the greatest difference between the two. The Doncroisskin (still trying with the names here) just tastes like a regular glazed donut while the Cronut … well, it tastes like a flaky, sweet, golden ring of happiness made with love by unicorns, Beyoncé and Prince George. It’s that special.
Ultimately, the Dunkin’ Docrossnut (one of these names will stick!) isn’t bad, but I definitely wouldn’t wait in line at 5:30 a.m. for one. Unless I had to kill time waiting for PetSmart to open so I could buy a replacement parakeet.