Pastries are one of the things that many people don't realize are so ingrained into their daily lives, until they realize how many times something as second-nature as ordering a donut or a muffin has become on their coffee run. Calling common breakfast items 'pastries' is a fancier way of describing exactly what they are and while the word might evoke images of a bakery in France, they're popular all over the world.

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In North America, especially, pastries haven't only become intertwined in the U.S. It seems like every country around the world has staged its spin on what sugary treats it calls its own, and trust - it goes so far beyond a box of Munchkins or a muffin with a large latte. Some of these pastries might be so unfamiliar that you're inspired to hit the road in search of them while others won't come as such a surprise. The thing about pastries is that while they can be made at home, it takes plenty of practice, effort, and time to create something so delicate and delicious... So we apologize in advance for inspiring cravings over things you have yet to try (or find locally).


Persians are a bit of a mystery which only comes as a surprise because of their popularity. Believing to have originated in Thunder Bay, Canada (or, at least, near the area), these sugary treats have the appearance of a flattened donut. On appearance alone, it's not their oval shape that stands out, though - it's the layer of pastel pink icing that gets slathered over the top of them.

As opposed to a donut that has colored icing, the icing on Persians actually serves a purpose. It's usually flavored with either strawberries or raspberries, making it a berry-flavored pastry that Canada can't seem to get enough of.

Beaver Tails

Beaver Tails are very specific in both their cooking method as well as their toppings. Obviously, the name 'Beaver Tail' implies that the entire pastry resembles that of a beavertail, which it does.

Beaver Tails are made by floating a disc of dough on top of hot oil and flipping it until golden-brown, which allows it to keep its flat appearance. However, it's not necessarily the dough itself that people crave about this pastry but, rather, the topping of sweet apples that it gets when finished.

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A relatively new creation (as in within the last few years), the cronut has been making waves ever since. The idea of combining foods in order to make new, hybrid foods is nothing new but the cronut was particularly special.

A croissant is already challenging enough to make on its own but, when combined with a donut, it becomes something that people can't get enough of. It's the best of both worlds: a flaky, buttery interior that's similar to that of the layers of dough and butter in a croissant, and an exterior that's seasoned and glazed just like a donut.

Bear Claws

A bear claw might seem like anything special but for whatever reason, it's still one of the most popular pastries in the U.S., likely due to its long history. Traditionally, this pastry is made simply with butter, flour, eggs, and milk, but it's the filling inside of the bear claw that sets it apart from a typical serving of fried dough.

Consisting of almonds, sugar, egg whites, and almond extract, this pastry is filled to the brim with almond flavor which plays well with the icing that gets drizzled over the top of this bear claw-shaped treat.


Timbits are popular throughout the U.S. and Canada although most people might know them by the name of donut holes or Munchkins.

Specifically, Timbits are sold in many gas station chains and convenience stores and can come in any number of flavors such as honey, cake, apple fritter, old-fashioned, chocolate, citrus, and berry flavors. Historically, the 'bit' part of 'Timbit' stands for 'Big in Taste' which is accurate of these small, but mighty, sweet bites.


Contrary to popular belief, beignets were actually brought to Canada during the 17th century before making their way down to Louisiana later on.

The powdered donut-type pastries originally came from France long before that, though, before they caught on in North America. Today, these pillowy, fluffy donuts are an iconic staple throughout New Orleans, with people heading to the city just to try them with a cup of fresh, hot coffee.

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