Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Checking up on Persians

I'm doing another media breakfast this summer, and had made the food order/contract with the caterer and I asked two people at the client to review it with me. I get afraid of being complacent so I try to compare the date on the contract back to a calendar and go through the contract line by line.

I had said to these two women to be nitpicky and point out to me anything they saw that they questioned. Today I get an email from one of them who was looking at the contract and asked me "What is a Persian?"

This is Oshkosh, after all, where there are some odd names for food... I remember one year a caterer listed "cannibal meat" when it was steak tartare. I remembered vaguely that a Persian was some kind of breakfast pastry.  The other odd name I remember is "Poor Man's Lobster" on the menu -- which turned out to be haddock. Supposedly haddock tastes just like lobster. Anyone want to validate that?

A Persian is an oval-shaped, cinnamon-bun-like pastry with a sweet, pink icing made of either raspberries or strawberries. It originated in and remains particular to the city of Thunder Bay, Ontario, Canada.

Wikipedia goes on to say:

HistoryTraditional 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.

The Persian is a variation of the Pershing, a doughnut made from a yeast dough that is coiled with cinnamon and usually finished with a plain sugar glaze rather than pink icing.

Two other Oshkosh names for pastries which we don't have in New York are Bismarcks and Bear Claws. Here we have rugeleh and babka!

1 comment:

Mary Mc said...

I would think you'd have bear claws - they're a traditional danish pastry - I bet you could get them in any pastry shop in NYC