Coronavirus-themed foods aim to raise a smile during the crisis

Tamara Hardingham-Gill, CNN

    (CNN) -- Among global efforts to offer some light relief to the current crisis, bakers and chefs have been producing coronavirus-related dishes that are hopefully a lot tastier than the epidemic which has inspired them.

In Hanoi, Vietnam, a chef at Pizza Home has created a coronavirus-themed burger.

Hoang Tung says he dreamed up the burgers, which feature green-tea stained buns with tiny "crowns" designed to look like microscopic images of the virus, to take the fear out of the infectious disease.

"We have this joke that if you are scared of something, you should eat it," Tung told Reuters.

'Corona burger'

"That's why the coronavirus isn't scary any more after you eat a burger in the shape of the virus itself. That way of thinking spreads joy to others during this pandemic."

According to Reuters, the takeaway shop is currently selling around 50 of the burgers every day, which is particularly impressive considering the number of businesses that have been forced to close down as a result of the pandemic.

In France, pastry chef and chocolatier Jean-François Pré opted to create coronavirus Easter eggs.

The chocolate eggs, which have been painted black, are dotted with red painted almonds to replicate how the virus looks while viewed under a microscope.

Pré told French language newspaper Le Telegramme he devised the eggs to bring some humor to the situation after growing "tired of hearing" about coronavirus.

He began selling them at his shop in Landivisiau, which is located in Brittany, northwestern France, earlier this month, a few weeks before France went into lockdown.

Toilet humor

Meanwhile in western Germany, the Schuerener Backparadies bakery has added two different coronavirus-themed creations to its selection.

Not only can customers buy biscuit versions of the face mask emoji, the establishment, owned by Tim Kortuem, is also offering toilet roll shaped cakes.

A nod to the well-documented toilet paper shortage that's occurred across the world as consumers frantically buy up huge quantities, the marble cakes are wrapped in white fondant etched with tiny diamond shapes in the style of quilted toilet roll.

The novel cakes were an instant hit with customers, and the team at the bakery, situated in the city of Dortmund in Germany's North Rhine-Westphalia region, are currently making at least 200 a day.

In fact, Kortuem told Reuters Television the toilet roll cakes are helping to keep the Schuerener Backparadies in business during these difficult times.

"The customers are totally crazy about it," he says. "Most people just like it as it adds some fun to these times."

Like France, and many countries around the world, Germany has imposed extensive restrictions and many non-essential businesses have been forced to close.

However, restaurants and eateries that offer food delivery and pick-up are allowed to remain open.

Fauci factor

Over in the US, a New York doughnut shop has dedicated its latest offering to infectious disease expert Dr. Anthony Fauci, a member of President Donald Trump's coronavirus task force who's won the public over with his straight-talking approach.

The team at Donuts Delite in Rochester decided to make Fauci the "face" of one of its doughnuts as a way of lifting the mood.

"We wanted to find a way to cheer up the people in our neighborhood," owner Nick Semeraro told CNN.

The team were impressed by Dr. Fauci's handling of the situation so far. "We loved his message and how thorough he was, and how he kept everyone informed during the crisis ... so we wanted to give back and say thanks."

According to Semeraro, the shop has sold thousands of the buttercream-frosted doughnut, which features Fauci's face printed on edible paper, with customers asking for the treat to be sent to various cities and states.

"We had no idea it was going to blow up this big," he said. "We didn't know everyone else felt the same way we did."

There's no word on a coronavirus-themed pizza yet, but we suspect it won't be far off.

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