Migros, Switzerland’s largest supermarket chain, has started selling its version of Cronuts – half-croissant, half-donut calorie bombs. The hybrid pastry’s creator in New York is unimpressed and plans to patent his invention in Switzerland.
Paris-born Dominique Ansel, owner of a hip Soho bakery, started selling Cronuts in May. Word soon spread and people now queue at 5am to get their hands on one of 250 made each day (the bakery opens at 8am). Only two are sold per customer.
Ansel – called the “Willy Wonka of NYC” by the New York Post – patented the name (hence the capitalisation) after other US bakers began frying ring-shaped croissants, forcing them to come up with other names: zonuts, frizzants, cronies, doissants. However, he neglected to do so in Switzerland and Migros saw its chance.
The Migros bakery, Jowa, got to work on the hand-made pastries and Migros started selling them in Zurich and Lucerne in August – all without Ansel’s permission.
“Our attention was drawn to the fact that Migros had copied our creation and stolen our name,” Ansel’s bakery said in a statement quoted by the Tages-Anzeiger newspaper. The bakery described the move as “shocking” and questioned Migros’s values and morals.
“Migros should know better than to steal from the culinary creativity of a baker who put a lot of time and energy into his creation.”
For its part, Migros can’t see what all the fuss is about. “The idea of a product can’t be monopolised, and Jowa came up with its own recipe,” said spokeswoman Monika Weibel.
She added that they would appeal if Ansel patented Cronuts in Switzerland.
Dominique Ansel makes Cronuts with a laminated dough that is similar to a croissant. The pastry is proofed and fried in grapeseed oil for 30 seconds, then rolled in sugar, filled with cream and topped with a glaze.
He makes only one flavour a month. The first flavour when it debuted May 10 was rose sugar with a Tahitian vanilla ganache, topped with a light rose glaze and crystallised rose petals. These sold at $5 (CHF4.60) a piece.
Ansel isn’t giving up the exact recipe and says he doesn’t know the calorie count, but it has been estimated at 500-600 per Cronut.
swissinfo.ch and agencies