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Persian (roll) facts for kids

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Quick facts for kids
Type Pastry
Place of origin Canada
Region or state Thunder Bay
Main ingredients Pastry dough, icing

A Persian is an oval-shaped, cinnamon-bun-like sweet roll with a sweet, pink icing made of either raspberries or strawberries. More recently other colour icings have been used as well, however the vast majority still use the pink icing. It is credited to have originated at Bennett's Bakery and remains particular to the former city of Port Arthur, Ontario, Canada. The city is now known as Thunder Bay after its amalgamation with Fort William in 1970. It is sometimes confused with a Pershing or a Persian bun which are regional items in parts of the United States but are a completely different baked good made with doughnut batter as opposed to being a sweet roll.

Hot Fried with butter is an alternate, sweeter way to enjoy the Persian. This is prepared by splitting the Persian (similar to how one would cut a bagel). Butter is generously applied and set in a frying pan. The icing is shared to cover the top of both pieces being fried and is allowed to melt and crystallize while the buttered side is fried to golden brown. It is served hot.


Traditional lore is that the Persian was named for U.S. general John "Blackjack" Pershing but the exact date of its inception and circumstances of its creation are no longer known, giving rise to competing claims and myths among people in the region. Its recipe remains a general secret with long-running debates on whether the icing contains raspberries or strawberries. Persians are often used as fundraising items to be sold at schools, churches, shopping malls, and other social events.

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