The Most Controversial Cronut Flavor, According To Dominique Ansel - Exclusive

Perhaps one of the most Instagrammed pastries on the planet, the Cronut, created by renowned chef Dominique Ansel, is a well-beloved phenomenon in pretty much all of its iterations. After a decade of rotating flavors at his bakery locations, Ansel has dreamed up hundreds of Cronut flavors.

And while fans line up to get their hands on the sugary, flavor-filled, deep-fried croissant donut hybrid every day, regardless of what flavor is up for sale at the time — it's probably safe to say that not every single flavor is universally beloved. In fact, while speaking exclusively to Tasting Table about the Cronut's anniversary, Ansel recalled a particularly controversial flavor. "We did, a few years ago, [a] peppermint flavor. Peppermint and [white] chocolate for the holidays. Some people loved it. Some people didn't like it as much." Specifically, Ansel is referring to the white chocolate peppermint with cherry Cronut of December 2016.

The pastry featured a white chocolate cream and cherry compote filling and was topped with a thick peppermint glaze. Ansel admitted that he was kind of surprised by the mixed reaction to it "because obviously for the holidays, most people like peppermint." But truthfully, white chocolate is already a hit-or-miss flavor, and mixing fruit and peppermint on top of that is bound to put off a few people. And even he can admit that not every single flavor is going to knock it out of the park because, at the end of the day, "it's a matter of preference."

Constantly changing flavors keeps the Cronut craveable for everyone

The good news for Ansel and his team is that even if a Cronut flavor turns out to be slightly less than sensational, it's only on the market for a month before it's added to the recipe vault forever. And for anyone who is secretly hoping for the return of a past favorite, don't hold your breath, as Ansel is committed to his business model. "Very early on we decided to change the flavor every single month and not to repeat ... [this way] every time you come, you have a unique flavor of the Cronut," he said.

And according to the chef, this strategy works. "Every time there's a new flavor, we have an influx of sales and people want more and more of it and it's their favorite, and they're very expressive through social media." Anyone who's visited the bakery can confirm that the long lines that tend to wind around the block are still a fixture of the Cronut experience, even 10 years after the viral treat's debut. It turns out that when you combine anticipation, exclusivity, and an unimpeachable pastry, you've got a recipe for success.