The success of Dominique Ansel and his cronuts is simple. The formula is part Paula Deen, part McRib and distinctly geared toward American food culture: make something really bad that combines what people already love and make sure that it's almost impossible to get a hold of.
Over the weekend, Ansel announced the next flavor of his donut-croissant hybrids — coconut cream-filled with coconut frosting — which will only be available in August (his flavors change monthly; this month's flavor is blackberry). To get the so-called croconut, you will have to get yourself in line around 6:00 a.m., wait around for two hours and be one of the first 200 people in the door — and then be willing to pay $5 per pastry (a maximum of two).
Yes, even though we're knee deep in July (cronuts debuted in May) people are still lining up around the block for cronuts. But despite what Ansel will tell you about his French technique and the mastery of getting croissant dough just right, the success of his cronut can be traced to a tried-and-true formula of preying on American grease-loving tendencies. And he just might have Paula Deen to thank:
Dominique Ansel Is Like Paula Deen and KFC
What made Paula Deen successful (at least for a while) was that shamelessly trumpeted the most artery-clogging, deep-fried aspects of Southern food. This is a woman who once fried lasagna and was okay with serving a hamburger in-between a split glazed donut. And though her food could consign small children to a life of diabetes, that did not deter anyone from falling in love with the butter goddess — that is, until she turned out to be a crazy racist.