‘Cronut’ Craze Creates Black Market for Tasty New Treat

The delectable doughnut-croissant pastry is the newest food fad in the Big Apple.

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Dominique Ansel Bakery

The original Cronut, which has inspired knockoffs nationwide, including the Cronut Burger in Toronto that sickened more than 200.

Forget the sweet fads of yesteryear. On the isle of Manhattan, the latest craze is for the cronut, a croissant-doughnut hybrid available at a single bakery in Soho. Although the irresistible, cream-filled pastries from Dominique Ansel bakery have only been on sale since May 10, they’ve gained such a loyal following that the $5 delights, which are deep-fried in grapeseed oil, sell for as much as $40 each when purchased through special scalping services, according to Ryan Sutton, a food critic for Bloomberg News.

The glazed goodies have become so coveted in their brief, three-week existence that the bakery has implemented a strict, six-cronut limit, according to Grub Street, and sells out of its daily stock of 200 within minutes of opening at eight each morning. Die-hard fans line up as early as two hours beforehand to ensure they get their fix.

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Even celebrities don’t get any special privileges. As Grub Street noted, CNN anchor Anderson Cooper tried to get an order for his birthday, but was denied because of high demand from the public. Hugh Jackman, on the other hand, knew the protocol and reportedly waited in line for his cronuts.

So what’s a cronut addict to do when she can’t wait for hours each morning to get one? Enter the “cronut black market,” which not only charges a whopping 700% premium for the pastries, but only delivers five out of each half-dozen ordered because the delivery person keeps the sixth as a surcharge. (Here’s a listing for one such delivery service on Craigslist.)

If that price is too steep, it may be best to wait until the bakery staffs up to boost its cronut output. Just try not to think of the lovely rose-vanilla glazed ones you already missed out on in May. Or the new lemon-maple variety that debuted on Saturday and will be available for the entire month of June.

(MORE: Boom to Bust: Is the Gourmet-Cupcake Market Collapsing?)