Or what Dorothy might have said upon entering a patisserie instead of the woods on her way to Oz.
What is a cronut, besides one of the most common new words on the Internet and a high-frequency word in our Tansa logs? As though anyone really needed to ask; I just now got 1.7 million hits and that number will surely increase dramatically the next time I google it. Basically, it’s the newest culinary craze worldwide, born of a French, New York-based chef who ingeniously crossed a croissant and a doughnut (in a bowl of batter, that is).
So what’s the problem? Unlike Dorothy, we have nothing to fear from these creatures – or creations. There’s no problem from a culinary standpoint. Bring them all on. And zonuts and dough’ssants, ok, but Dominique Ansel, the creator of the original cronut, has trademarked the original name, hence the rise (apologies) in variations of nomenclature. Officially it is the Cronut™ and was launched on May 10th of this year at the Dominique Ansel Bakery in New York City. Since Monsieur Ansel trademarked the name, other chefs have resorted to creating their own names along with as many variations of the recipe.
Down under in Sydney, Adriano Zumbo put his own twist on the creation, and voilà, Zumbo’s Zonuts was the result. You can read more about zonuts here.
Not to be outdone, some Canadian cousins in Vancouver again tweaked the recipe and came up with the frissant – tipping their toques to the French language, and shunning the original term that they felt reminded them of something that “sounds like a disturbed Cro Magnon.” But read more here.
And what about England … checking for shops offering the crispy delights in London I also came across cro-dough, crodough and crodo – Oh, my! Indeed.
But we are not done yet, linguistically speaking, and here’s where we really start encountering problems. There is yet another variation on the name, and even the spelling: the doughssant or dough’ssant (which has also been spelled dossant and dosant). Seriously, if we are going to evoke French etymologically, and not provoke the French culturally, shouldn’t it be “deaussant”? Or why not “beignssant” (beignet + croissant)?
So there is a plethora of what some have referred to as “cronut knock-offs,” thus the dilemma. When new words like this come up here at Tansa we record them and watch and wait, but not too long. Cronut is trademarked (at least pending at this point), so we can add this spelling. Zonut and frissant are valid, and so far, no variations in spelling. Into the dictionary. Then there are the “do” varieties. But until a clear orthographic winner of the “do” emerges, we have several possibilities: we can add them all, or we can make search-replace corrections at your request, or you can add them immediately in your Auxiliary Dictionary.
In conclusion, no matter how you spell it, a doughnut-croissant by any other name would taste as sweet. Thanks for your innumerable contributions to our “linguistic confections,” Will S.!
To read this article in Spanish, click here.