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'Cronut' frenzy creates black market for rare pastries

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It is a strange fate that we should suffer so much fear and doubt over so small a thing. Such a little thing.

A little pastry with a funny name is causing an outsized frenzy on the island of Manhattan, where renowned chef Dominique Ansel is selling only 250 cronuts — half croissant, half doughnut — each day out of his SoHo bakery. The cronuts, which debuted May 10, became a sensation almost overnight, the latest must-have delicacy for the city's elite.

But the only way to get a cronut is to wait in line, and as salivating customers began queuing at the crack of dawn — attempting to slip baristas $100 bills to expedite their order, and crying or flipping off the staff when the treats sold out — the prospect of waiting their turn swiftly lost its appeal for those who could afford to pay a premium for the $5 treat.

A black market in cronuts popped up on Craigslist as enterprising hustlers with a little time on their hands began offering to wait in line for cronuts (there's a limit of six per order) and deliver them to people around the city at sky-high markups ranging from about $15 per cronut to a whopping $40 if you live in Brooklyn.

Ansel has trademarked the name and, despite the success of his creation, is reportedly refusing to raise the price or "sell out" by turning his bakery into a cronut-only operation.

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