In my gourmet experience concrete is not usually an aspirational quality for decadent treats. Maybe I’m showing my age, because at the perpetually popular Shake Shack in Madison Park, concrete is the brand name of their ice-cream. A different flavour accompanies each day of the week, so if it’s Monday it’s salted caramel, and Tuesday would normally be banana bread. But if it’s Tuesday 17th September, the once-only-never-to-be-repeated flavour is butter caramel frozen custard with cinamon sugar cronuts – cronut hole concrete!
Dominique Ansel, the increasing famous creator of the cronut, teamed up with the Shake Shack people for a one day event to raise money for the Madison Park Conservatory and the NYC Patrolman’s Benevolent Association Widows and Children’s Fund. One thousand tubs of the limited edition concrete went on sale today for $4.50 each and a limit of two per person. The Shake Shake opened their doors at 10am, and with people queuing since 5am, the line snaked all around the Park. ( Maybe this would have been a good day to join the line at the Dominique Ansel Bakery in Soho. It may have been a little shorter in lieu of the alternative, and I understand the cronut flavour this month is fig and mascapone…..)
I cycled down to the Park at 10.30 when the first in line were starting to collect their concrete. The first 100 received a commemorative I was there teeshirt, and it was as though they had struck gold. So much excitement! It was like a religious experience as the tubbed trophies were photographed in their Shake Shack paper bag, in anticipation, about to to be eaten, being eaten… Cameras, video recorders, iPhones, television crews, and a thousand people waiting for a chance to do the same. On this sunny September day there was a happy camaraderie – the Grubstreet and the Yelp reporters even exchanged cards, and everyone posed and smiled. Maybe this made the concrete experience last just a little bit longer, it was for a good cause after all, but I wondered how they would all be feeling later when I would be enjoying some feather light scones…
Interesting how seven of those eight people in line all have digital devices attached to them. I have often wondered if I don’t blog it, Instagram it, tweet it or FB it, does that mean I don’t exist???