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Crossbreed croissants: a new generation of hybrids

First came the cronut, then the cruffin, and now the tacro

Published 29 Aug 2018, 19:00 BST, Updated 15 Jul 2021, 09:51 BST
Crossbreed croissants

The basics
When is a croissant not a croissant? Over the past few years, bakers have been reimagining the classic French viennoiserie, and the latest hybrid is the tacro (pictured), at San Francisco's Vive La Tarte. The much-Instagrammed creation — a folded shell of croissant pastry filled with pulled pork or jackfruit and pineapple salsa — sold out within two hours when it was launched earlier this year. Yet tacros are just the latest in a long line of crossbreed croissants. For example, Coyle's Bakeshop, in Seattle, serves cretzels; pretzel-shaped, laminated dough baked with salt flakes. There are lemon meringue pie croissants at Mr Holmes Bakehouse, which has branches in Los Angeles, San Francisco and Seoul. The Bagel Store in New York, meanwhile, sells cragels (from jalapeño and cheddar to French toast) — boiled before they're baked, like bagels, yet fluffy inside. In Europe, Dimitris Koparanis, of Estrella World Street Food in Thessaloniki, is challenging Greek tradition with his bougatsan — a custard-filled bougatsa with the usual filo replaced by croissant dough. It's proved so popular that a London branch is set to open later this year.

The history
Dominique Ansel began the hybrid trend when he unveiled the cronut at his eponymous New York bakery in 2013. The doughnut-croissant cross — fried croissant rings filled with flavoured creams and custards — was an instant hit, spawning a host of imitators. Ansel has since expanded his cronut empire (a London outpost opened in 2016). The next incarnation of the craze came later in 2013, with Lune Croissanterie's cruffin — a muffin-shaped croissant. Find out more about this Melbourne bakery in our city guide on p98.

Close to home
For more #frankenbaking here in the UK, visit Bea Vo's Butterscotch bakery in London for a pumpkin-stuffed ginger cheesecake croissant. Or head to Northern Rye in Newcastle for cruffins with black sesame brittle.

Global hybrids

PrinsessSemla, Sweden
Marzipan-laced princess cake and cream-filled semla buns, served at Thimons bakery in Nässjö.

Tacro, USA
Tacos meet flaky croissants at Vive La Tarte in San Francisco.

Biskie, UK
A cookie-cake sandwich with buttercream inside, available at Cutter & Squidge, London.

Soufflé pancakes, Japan
Try this cloud-like combo of two classics at Tokyo's Pluffy Café.

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Published in Issue 2 of National Geographic Traveller Food, out with the September issue of National Geographic Traveller (UK).

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