From Dominique Ansel’s Cronuts to José Andrés’ Foieffles (crispy waffle stuffed with foie gras), culinary mash-ups are all the rage. Some, like the aforementioned, are the inspiration of classically trained bakers and chefs and deserve the social media acclaim they are receiving. Others, like Krispy Kreme Sloppy Joes or Cheetos macarons, should be left on the screens of your handheld devices and not on your palates. Enter the Frenagel, the brainchild of Gerard Fioravanti and his team at Fiorello Dolce in Huntington.
A newcomer to the world of culinary hybrids, the Frenagel is part French doughnut and part bagel and thoroughly Long Island. Fioravanti, the executive pastry chef and part owner along with Steven Marinello of this Huntington patisserie, is quick to credit his team for the pastry’s genesis. One day one of his sous-chefs, Kristy, wanted to do “something with cream cheese inside one of our croissants,” says Fioravanti. “So I suggested using one of our French doughnuts. She seasoned it in the style of an everything bagel and piped in some scallion cream cheese.” Et voilà: the Frenagel. Fioravanti’s French doughnut, a baked and filled doughnut made from croissant and brioche dough, has been a local hit for several years. “I took my croissant dough and played around with it. I tried brioche dough in different formats to make it work, and then I finally figured out a technique,” he says. His technique yields a light and flaky doughnut that “doesn’t sit in your stomach like a bagel or a fried doughnut.” Fioravanti’s culinary portmanteau marries classic French baking credentials with Long Island sensibilities. Flaky to a fault (don’t even think about eating one in your car), the four varieties are: the original everything Frenagel with scallion cream cheese; veggy Frenagel with black sesame seeds and fleur de sel; toasted almond Frenagel with whipped honey butter; and a candied walnut Frenagel with cinnamon raisin cream cheese.
Now trademarked, the Frenagel™ is here to stay. “It’s innovative, and we want to protect ourselves,” says Fioravanti. “There is only one way to make a Frenagel, and that’s the way we make it.” In just three months, Fiorello Dolce has sold well over 4,000 Frenagels, averaging 75 per day and selling out every day. Word to the wise, the early bird gets the Frenagel (Fiorello Dolce opens at 7 a.m.).