Like any decadent viral phenomenon, the Cronut, which debuted in May 2013, rumbled a few stomachs and even ruffled a few feathers. A croissant-doughnut hybrid, unheard of until Dominique Ansel, the original creator of Cronuts, was the source of fascinating gluttony and curiosity, fueled by overly hyped Instagrammers that would queue behind dozens of people outside Ansel's bakery in anticipation for a photo (and taste) of the most aggressively pursued food trend of 2017.
Whether or not you fed into Cronut mania, the fad was the catalyst to a new wave of food virality. The newest contender, coming at the tail end of 2017, is similar to the Cronut -- drop the "r" and you get the Conut.
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What is the Conut?
The Conut is the straight-shooter's answer to the hypothetical question, "What would a Cronut look like if you filled it with ice cream?" Created by Leigh Allen of Chocolate Komberry Co. in Melbourne, Australia, the Conut is made of 64 layers of buttery pastry, hand-rolled, half-baked and shallow-fried, before swirls of soft serve ice cream are piled generously on top. The whole process takes 72 hours.
And like any Frankenfood that makes it to viral status, authenticity is key. Leigh's rich, creamy ice cream is made using techniques reserved for Italian gelato, which means a "proper" Conut is only served at Komberry's Kombi Vans at Eat Street Markets.
As far as food trends go, the grade of Instagram worthiness is paramount. And for the ice cream-stuffed croissant-doughnut hybrid, it is sans-pareil. The Uniconut attempts to outdo Starbucks' equally gratuitous as it was groundbreaking, Unicorn Frappuccino -- a super sugary neon nightmare that clogged the average person's Instagram feed. "Eat all the colours of the rainbow!" reads the caption of a colorfully sprinkled Conut.
A Strawberries and Cream Conut features frozen strawberries stuck precariously around the edges of a pink and white soft-serve swirl to create an impossibly photogenic treat. And the Chocolate-Gaytime double swirl flavor dares to be eaten solo but should be shared by at least two.
Maybe Conuts will outrun the overnight virality of Cronuts in 2018; out with the old, in with the new.