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Cronut-crazed New Yorkers brave frigid temperatures for pastry

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Not even a frigid winter storm could deter some New Yorkers from their beloved Cronuts on Friday morning.

Over 100 people braved below-freezing temperatures to line up outside Dominique Ansel Bakery, home to the popular pastry, as early as 6:30 a.m.

“We received quite a few emails the night before confirming we were going to be opened the morning after the storm because they were going to come -- rain or shine,” chef, owner and Cronut creator Dominique Ansel told the Los Angeles Times in an email. 

The shop, which opens at 8 a.m. Monday through Saturday and 9 a.m. Sunday, is used to such Cronut mania. The pastry, named one of Time magazine's 25 best inventions of 2013, made its debut at the bakery in May. Since then, versions of the croissant-doughnut hybrid have been in stores all over the world.

Jeremy Gan, a 23-year-old graduate student at New York University, was near the front of the line with his brother, with just two people ahead of them.

Gan had never tried the Cronut before. His reaction?

"It perfectly represented the distinct sweet sugary flavor of the doughnut, yet preserves the [flakiness] of the croissant," he said.

For Vivian Leba, 26, it is tradition to visit the shop with her friend, whom she jokingly nicknamed “Cronut Girl,” because of her passion for the pastry, whenever they are in town from Houston.

“The cold is merely an insignificant obstacle regarding our fortitude for Cronuts,” Leba, who is a photographer, told The Times. “When you have a mutual love for food, it's very much about the camaraderie you share with everyone who's in line for the same thing — pastry divinity.”

Leba said when she and her friend arrived at 8:15 a.m., there were about 40 people in line ahead of them and 30 people behind them.  This is what Leba considers a short wait for the Cronut.

To make the long line easier in the chill, Ansel said the store provided complimentary hot chocolate, madeleines and hand warmers. 

“We really appreciate the folks who show and support creativity and our little pastry,” he said.
 
Even with the winter weather, Ansel didn’t seem surprised by the long lines.

“It's a very passionate crowd, and on a daily basis I've always found they all have their reasons,” he said. “For some of them, it's a New Year's resolution. For others, it's a birthday gift for someone they really care about. Still others -- it's about that only-in-New-York experience.”

Gan's Instagram photo from today:

 

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Twitter: @saba_h

saba.hamedy@latimes.com

Copyright © 2014, Los Angeles Times
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