The Cronut Sensation

America has always had a love for infusing foreign delights into its own creations. The latest craze is a perfect example of this, “the Cronut”. The Cronut is simple, yet magnificent. This creation is simply a French croissant mixed with a donut. This instant classic treat was created by, Dominique Ansel and sold exclusively at Ansel’s bakery in New York City. With great success has come many wanting to copy the genius idea including scalpers selling Cronuts in the streets ranging from $20-40 and even going up to ridiculous prices going as high as $100, according to the New York Times. The Cronut has created lines that wrap around the street. Since the creation, imitators have emerged, including Dunkin Donuts with their release of the “Croissant Donut” as well as other donut companies around the country.

The croissant is an old French pastry that is well known for its crescent shape and butter layers. The croissant has been dated back to the 13th century, spawning from Austria, and was brought to France by an Austrian princess, Marie Antoinette, who moved to France as a new bride. The princess missed the pastry so much that she had it brought to France where it go the name “croissant” for the French word, crescent.

Marie Antoinette

Similar to examples such as Taco Bell, Panda Express, and other foreign-American fusions, Americans have fallen in love with this creation. While this may in fact be just a trend, you can see what similarities all of these trends have. Americans, in general, love foods that have to deal with foreign fusions, and even more so, something different. People love experimenting, especially with simple foods that sound strange, but often surprise people. A similar comparison would be maple and bacon covered donuts. People love to try new food creations that feel adventurous and out of the ordinary.

Overall, this has proven to be yet another success of a foreign-inspired food creation. Only time will tell if this new pastry experiment will last, and if there will be more access to this treat. Based on the lines in New York City, I would assume that it is fair to say that we have not seen the last of the Cronut! If you are feeling adventurous and cannot wait to try the Cronut, I have included a recipe for you to try on your own from ABC News!

Cinco de Mayo!

With Cinco de Mayo coming just around the corner, what things come to mind? Margaritas, guacamole, and sombreros? For most Americans, that is the correct answer. Why is it that Americans tend to celebrate Cinco de Mayo so much more than our neighbors down south? While we as Americans mark the date for parties and celebration, Mexico has much different traditions.

Many believe that May 5th represents the Mexican equivalent of Independence Day, which is not entirely accurate. Cinco de Mayo represents the day that Mexico was able to claim an unexpected victory over France during the French Intervention in 1862, Puebla, Mexico under the leadership of Ignacio Zaragoza. This marks such an important victory because of how powerful the French army had been during this time.

This victory not only had a major impact on Mexican history, but is also largely recognized by United States as an important date in history. During this battle, just across the border was the Civil War, in which the Confederacy relied heavily on the help of French forces. Due to this extraordinary victory by Mexico, the French were halted in helping the Confederacy, in which some historians believe may have helped the Union greatly, possibly altering the result of the Civil War. For this reason many Americans recognize this as a U.S. holiday, even making it a national holiday in 2005.

What makes Cinco de Mayo different in the U.S. in comparison to Mexico is the way that the holiday is celebrated. While we think of food, music and drinks, celebration in Mexico is quite different. The celebration in all parts of Mexico is not as large as what it has become in America, the largest of the celebrations in the country takes place in the city of Puebla, Mexico where the actual battle had taken place. Celebrations in Mexico often consist of parades and battle re-enactments, especially in Puebla.

The United States has ventured far away from the Mexican way of celebrating the holiday. Cinco de Mayo in the States has taken its own form. This holiday is known for partying, food and tequila. In fact, the world’s largest Cinco de Mayo celebration does not even take place in Mexico, but in Los Angeles with the Festival de Fiesta Broadway. According to HLNtv.com, Americans consume up to 81 million avocados on Cinco de Mayo! The U.S. has continued to add new traditions to this holiday that is originally meant to be a Mexican holiday. These new traditions even include ridiculous additions of celebration including Chihuahua races in Chandler, Arizona. This just adds to how much America has recreated a once Mexican holiday and turned it into its own moderation of an old holiday.

 

BRITISH ROCK CONTINUES TO INVADE

Starting in the early 1960’s, the British Invasion swept America with rock and roll. Beginning with the Beatles and Rolling Stones, British rock has dominated the States. While the British Invasion is commonly recognized as taking place in the 60’s, time has proven that Brit Rock has never truly left. Rock n’ roll from across the waters has shown to still be alive and well as English rockers continue to sweep the country with newly found artists as well as pre-existing rock phenomenon’s. With new groups such as the Arctic Monkeys, The 1975, and countless others, England has proven that the British Invasion has never truly never left. England has been able to capture the youth of America with their rebellious, adolescent rock tunes.

 

The Beatles enter America

The Beatles enter America

 

Earlier last week, Rock and Roll Hall of Famer’s, The Rolling Stones, announced a 15 date massive stadium Zip Code Tour across North America consisting of mainly U.S. dates, as well as select Canada and Mexico dates. The tour will hit enormous stadiums such as Arrowhead Stadium, LP field, Heinz Field as well as many others. This marks the first U.S. Rolling Stones tour since their 2005-2007 A Bigger Bang Tour. With over 50 years of success, British rock group, The Rolling Stones have swept America off its feet and taken the country by storm. Along with The Rolling Stones continuing their reign over the world, Paul McCartney has also been making his rounds with headlining acts of major music festivals such as Lollapalooza and Firefly Music and Arts festival this year.

 

Rolling Stones TOur

 

Along with rock classics such as The Stones, The Beatles, and Led Zeppelin, British rock has also stayed strong in the 2000’s into the current years, with acts such as Muse, Mumford and Sons, Coldplay, and countless others dominating the airwaves and gathering fans in the masses. In addition to these gigantic acts, newer British rock groups have begun to take over the alternative rock airwaves. These new acts include the Arctic Monkeys and The 1975 who have struck the hearts of the younger generation and especially hitting home with college-aged students.

 

A relatively new rock group, The Arctic Monkeys has taken the world by storm in what felt like an overnight process. I have been lucky enough to see this young group of musicians live in concert twice and have been able to first-hand experience what all the hype is about. In the past year the rock group has filled slots in humongous music festivals including their headlining stage spot at Chicago’s Lollapalooza, as well as shows including festivals, Bonnaroo, Loufest and many others. In addition to playing these large music festivals, the group also went on an extensive tour across the States selling out nearly all of the dates including a local show at the Blue Note as well as the Pageant in St. Louis. With the lead singer, Alex Turner, portraying the pure image of punk rock with the slicked back hair, skinny jeans, and leather jacket, use of cigarettes, and way with the guitar he is able to capture the attention of the defiant youth.

Arctic Monkeys

Arctic Monkeys rock thousands of fans at Bonnaroo Music & Arts Festival

With all of the new British rock groups making their rounds in America, they have proven that the famous British Invasion has never truly left. Rockers from this country have continued to show that they are in fact here to stay and will not be disappearing anytime soon.