A 95-Euro "Snowman" Yule Log Is Making Its Rounds On French Twitter, And The French, Of Course, Have A LOT Of Thoughts

    "This is such a level of scam that we would have to invent a new word."

    Bonjour à tous. I haven't completed my Duolingo French lessons in well over a year, but that won't stop me from occasionally running into the latest scandal on the French side of social media. In light of the holiday season, this one is, of course, bûche de Noël related.

    a chocolate yule log showing the classic swirled cross section

    In case you're unaware, a bûche de Noël, or a Yule log, is a traditional cake served around Christmas all throughout Europe and the UK (and somewhat in the US). It first gets baked as a thin sheet cake and is then rolled and decorated to resemble a log. But, as is the case with so many classic desserts, people have been getting a little bit more creative over the years with their designs. One of those people is renowned French pastry chef Cédric Grolet.

    If you've scrolled on any form of social media, you've probably run into one of Cédric's creations. From coconut pastries that are carved into actual life-sized coconuts to black forest cakes in the shape of hyper-realistic pinecones — his award-winning desserts are designed to impress. With the holiday season now in full swing, Cédric (along with many other French pastry chefs) has turned his attention to his famous annual bûches de Noël.

    According to Cedric's Instagram and website, the bûche de Noël roundup this year includes a set of large hyper-realistic vanilla pods:

    A large chocolate-orange candy:

    A gingerbread house:

    A matcha yuzu log (specifically for his Singapore location):

    A bright red nutcracker (specifically for his London location):

    And finally, the reason we're all here today, the snowman log, which is available at his Paris locations for €95 (just shy of $105 using current conversion rates):

    a white snowman shaped yule log with a candied carrot nose

    Here's a closer look:

    a closer look at the head of the snowman log where you can see marshmallow dripping and the carrot nose

    Not long after the site revealed the bûches de Noël for the season, the snowman (or "Bonhomme Des Neiges" as it's referred to on Cédric's website) began making its rounds on Twitter where it was met with criticism. French journalist Nora Bouazzouni tweeted, "I died laughing. This is such a level of scam that we would have to invent a new word. (And I don't even know how to describe this thing in ALT.)"

    je suis morte de rire. c'est un tel niveau d'arnaque qu'il faudrait inventer un nouveau mot.

    (et je sais même pas comment décrire ce truc en ALT) pic.twitter.com/yyyopbepnT

    — nora bouazzouni (@norabz) November 27, 2023
    Twitter: @norabz / Via Twitter: @norabz

    For the record, this is what Nora ended up writing as the alt text to describe the image of the snowman log:

    an image description for the snowman yule log

    Many others were specifically critiquing the price point of almost €100. One user even described it as "open money laundering."

    J'ai jamais vu un blanchissement d'argent aussi avoué https://t.co/kH1w9EZyML

    — Junichi Masuda workshiper (@Hakiwa_) November 28, 2023
    Twitter: @Hakiwa_ / Via Twitter: @Hakiwa_
    The translated tweet reads: "I have never seen such open money laundering."

    Another referred to Cédric's desserts as the "Balenciaga of pastry."

    Cédric Grolet c’est le Balenciaga de la pâtisserie https://t.co/5QTc63W1cw

    — Sudiste ☀️ (@Sudiste_2_13) November 28, 2023
    Twitter: @Sudiste_2_13 / Via Twitter: @Sudiste_2_13
    The translated tweet reads: "Cédric Grolet is the Balenciaga of pastry."

    Someone even mentioned it being half of their monthly grocery budget.

    Comment ça ça coûte la moitié de mon budget courses mensuel ? https://t.co/gSXjdyz8la

    — Axel tout plat🍯 🐝 (@Axel_Lxttle) November 28, 2023
    Twitter: @Axel_Lxttle / Via Twitter: @Axel_Lxttle
    The translated tweet reads: "What do you mean it costs half of my monthly grocery budget?"

    It's worth noting that the price of Cédric's other logs are the same, if not higher, than his snowman creation, ranging from €95–€138 — the London-exclusive nutcracker being the most expensive. But the "bonhomme de neige" has been especially criticized for seemingly not delivering on the quality for such a high price. One Twitter user compared it to "The Gingerbread Man covered in shaving cream from Shrek 2."

    " Bonhomme de neige " alors que c'est le Bonhomme de pain d'épices couvert de mousse à raser dans Shrek 2 https://t.co/kFafbI6q8p

    — This Barbie is a cat lover (@Chichiacl) November 28, 2023
    @Chichiacl / Cédric Grolet / Via Twitter: @Chichiacl
    The translated tweet reads: "'Snowman' when it's the Gingerbread Man covered in shaving cream from Shrek 2."

    In fact, a similar, if not the same, mold was used last year for his gingerbread man-esque log, "Mr. Spice."

    TikTok users also jumped in to question the price and quality of the infamous snowman, with @edouardcuisine noting in a video that, "One: It looks like nothing. Two: 95 bucks, the snowman?!" He goes on, "This is the worst thing I've seen in a while." Many comments seemed to agree, making jokes about the pastry's so-called "melted" appearance. Some called it "the global warming model." (FYI, these have all been translated.)

    a screenshot of comments on a tiktok video

    And, of course, there were more Balenciaga comparisons.

    a comment on a tiktok video that reads "even balenciaga wouldn't dare"

    But this isn't the first time Cédric has been called out for his pastries. In June, creator Clara Marz posted a taste test to TikTok of Cédric's €80 strawberry tart. In her video — that's been viewed 2 million times — Clara says she "understands why it's so expensive," then goes on to say, "But I'm disappointed. The shortbread is super salty, and the middle is too, too sweet." As is usually the case, the video found its way to Twitter, where people criticized Clara for originally justifying the price of the luxury pastries.

    a screenshot of a tweet in french

    Despite the backlash, you can still find lines out the door of Cédric's bakeries with customers who are willing to pay the premium price for his desserts.

    BuzzFeed reached out to Cédric Grolet for comment but did not hear back before this post was published. We'll keep you updated if we do.