Crossushi was destined to become the first big food trend of 2018.
The flaky croissants stuffed with a sushi roll had it all: A catchy name, a mash-up of techniques and flavors like the Cronut, and the food-within-a-food surprise that made it Instagram bait.
The news of this creation by California-based Mr. Holmes Bakehouse crossed oceans, getting attention from the Italian, Dutch and French press, and even the BBC.
Crossushi was so hyped that it even sparked a near-immediate backlash: It was "Everything nobody in their right mind ever asked for," according to Dlisted, a "monstrosity that I'm giving a hard pass," according to Punkee. "I'm sorry, I love croissants and I love sushi, but this is cat food," wrote Jezebel.
There was only one problem. None of them had ever tried it. Because there was no crossushi on a menu, anywhere.
Mr. Holmes Bakehouse used to offer an item called the "California Croissant." It did not contain any sushi, but it had some Asian flavors: smoked (not raw) salmon, and nori, served with soy sauce.
It fitted in with the bakery's innovative menu: It's known for its "cruffin" (croissant-muffin), as well as other experimental treats, such as a lemon meringue pie croissant and a pastrami-manchego-pickled orange creation that the bakery dubbed the "Just try it" croissant.
Anyway, the California Croissant was served on and off beginning in 2014, but co-founder Aaron Caddel discontinued it early last year. He never called it crossushi.
Mashable made a video about it. The Daily Meal quoted Mr. Holmes co-founder Aron Tzimas as saying the pastry "sells out super fast" - except he said that in an Instagram comment in 2014, and he's no longer with the company.
Hello Giggles told its readers to go to San Francisco to try it. Elite Daily rounded up reactions on Twitter. Good Housekeeping chimed in. MTV used a bunch of profanity about it. It became a Twitter Moment.
But no one, until this publication, ever called the bakery to verify that it was even being sold, said Caddel. Only one crossushi story, from PopSugar, has been updated with a line that it's no longer available (the writer, who tried one in 2015, originally directed readers to all four of Mr. Holmes' locations).
"Whenever a story goes national . . . right after that is an influx of lots more people," said Caddel. "In San Francisco, we have a line out the door waiting to buy pastries seven days a week."
Whenever crossushi appears in an article, "That line goes from being 45 minutes long to an hour and a half."
Most of the time, customers aren't too mad about the crossushi - er, California Croissant - being unavailable. They'll just buy something different.
And even though the pastry has gotten this much attention, Caddel says he has no plans to bring it back.
The Washington Post