Walmart’s new Marketside “Crotilla” raises more questions than it answers.
The most obvious — “What is it?” — is addressed on the top of the package: “A flaky flatbread fusion of croissant and tortilla made with butter.”
The next logical question is “Why would anyone do this?” or maybe, “How am I supposed to eat this?”
Are Walmart’s customers supposed to treat it like a French pastry, and slather it in jam or fill it with chocolate? Or do they stuff it with meats, vegetables and cheeses like a tortilla, despite the fact that it doesn’t really wrap, fold or even taste like a traditional tortilla?
The packaging of Walmart's latest project is less forthcoming with answers to those questions.
Upon closer inspection, it’s clear the Crotilla has more in common with its French parentage than anything else. It looks like a round tortilla but it's basically a flattened, less airy croissant in taste and texture. But by flattening and condensing a croissant, it’s also clear that Walmart might not understand the real appeal of the beloved French pastry.
After all, the best food mashups celebrate the best aspects of the foods they mash. Take Dominique Ansel's legendary Cronut, which combines the best parts of a croissant (the flakiness, the buttery taste) with the best parts of a doughnut (the sweet fillings, the icing).
The Crotilla, however, forfeits a bit of its flakiness, and doesn't really pass for a tortilla because it doesn't wrap or fold easily.
That said, the Crotilla isn’t an unpleasant food experience. It basically tastes like a slightly bland croissant, which is probably why Walmart’s senior bakery buyer, Bradlee Underwood, suggests topping it with Nutella or turning it into tiny flatbread pizzas on Walmart’s blog. Walmart also sent Fox News several recipe cards with ideas for Crotilla breakfast sandwiches, chocolate cinnamon Crotilla “rollups” and Crotilla mezze platters.
But when tortillas already exist to provide the bases for Mexican pizzas and breakfast burritos — and regular croissants taste just delicious with Nutella regardless of their shape — what, exactly, does Walmart hope to accomplish with the Crotilla?
“We know customers, especially millennial customers, are hungry for new food trends and cool ways to experience food,” said Underwood, “and we want to be a destination for that.”
Well, OK then! Let’s see how those millennials reacted to news of the Crotilla on National Crotilla Day, a food holiday Walmart created to celebrate the item's release on Tuesday:
According to these people, April 25th is "National I Drove Over My Croissant With My Car Day." https://t.co/I0FFsuS6rv— Jonathan Surratt (@beerinator) April 25, 2017
Eight-packs of Walmart’s new Marketside Crotillas are currently available at over 800 Walmart locations for $3.98 per box. Find them in the bakery section of your local outlet and see if they provide satisfactory answers to your most burning Crotilla questions.