Persian (roll)

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Not to be confused with Pershing (doughnut).
Type Pastry
Place of origin Canada
Region or state Thunder Bay
Main ingredients Pastry dough, icing
Cookbook: Persian  Media: Persian

A Persian is an oval-shaped, cinnamon-bun-like sweet roll with a sweet, pink icing made of either raspberries or strawberries. It is credited to have originated at Bennett's Bakry in 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.


Traditional lore is that the Persian was named for U.S. general John 'Blackjack' Pershing[1] 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[2] 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. [3]