People really shouldn’t try to innovate on the doughnut. Not until someone can point me to a good doughnut.

Because there just aren’t any. I’ve tried Dunkin. I’ve tried Winchell’s. I’ve tried every supermarket’s. And you can tell I’m not lying by looking at me. I’ve even tried — several times — Krispy Kreme (whose national proliferation in 1996 everyone got so excited over for nothing; they can’t even get Boston Cream right).

The last time I had a good doughnut was in 1994, when I was working at PARADE magazine and downstairs was a no-name deli with a giant no-name doughnut. It was the first doughnut that had enough icing, and it was enormous. It was my breakfast every morning and would last me until lunch.

I’m sure that SOMEWHERE out there is a good doughnut that I’m overlooking. But clearly it’s not widely or easily available, or I would know about it. I’m a dessert expert, after all. You can tell by looking at me. (Which is why you haven’t seen me since 2008.)

So to hear about a craze, which can cost you up to $100 for a single one, over this new hybrid called Cronut, one loses respect for humanity.

Doughnuts are already too bready and dry, the icing almost an afterthought. (The Krispy Kreme factory in particular must have a permanent icing shortage.) So a doughnut crossed with a croissant? That just sounds like a diluted doughnut.

Until such time as someone comes up with a decent doughnut and I deem it ready for innovation, the word “Cronut” will continue to mean what it has always meant around here. It’s nothing more than the correct pronunciation of Croatian.

Speaking of which, here are some scenes from the EU’s newest member, minted 2013:


Zagreb, Croatia today. (Photo by Danas)

No wonder Croatia was in a panic when a report — bogus or not — came out over the summer about the Croats’ own family tree: they’re descendants of Serbs, their genes closer to those of the ancient Serbs than today’s Turk-mixed Serbs.

Meanwhile, if the subject is trees and Serbs in Croatia, who can forget the Croatian Serb who had to live up a tree:


(See “Return to Earth for Serb Tree Man.” His plight was improved after a flurry of media coverage was sparked by this photo in Canada’s National Post accompanying my 2007 article “When will the World Confront the Undead of Croatia?”)

But back to this, the year of Croatia’s EU entry. It opened with the vision of still another graffito in Vukovar, in February:


“If there aren’t enough willows for the Serbs, it doesn’t matter; [hang them] from the birch trees.” (This builds on the old Ustasha saying, “Hang the Serbs from the willows.”)

Such graffiti started appearing a few days after an anti-Cyrillic meeting in which participants demanded a 20-year moratorium on the introduction of Cyrillic as an official script, a legal obligation stemming from the 2011 Vukovar census which found that more than a third of inhabitants are Serb.

Last month, Serbian president Tomislav Nikolic pointed out that “in textbooks the Serbs are still occupiers and Chetniks, there are no Serbian schools, and there is not even an editorial program in Serbian language in Croatian Electronic Media.”

In the wake of the Cyrillic controversy this year, Croatian newspaper Novosti had the decency to do this:

The Croatian weekly Novosti has published an announcement issued by the Croatian Ustasha regime, banning the use of the Cyrillic alphabet. (Oct. 25)

The ban was enforced in the territory of the Independent State of Croatia (NDH) - a fascist WW2 entity that operated Jasenovac and other death camps, places of mass murder of Serbs, Jews, and Roma.

The weekly decided to print the historic document at the peak of an anti-Cyrillic campaign in Croatia….The 1941 decree banned Cyrillic “in the entire territory of the NDH,” and said this was in particular valid for “the business of state and self-government bodies, offices of public institutions, trade and similar books, correspondence, and all public inscriptions.”

Reports from Vukovar on Friday said that another bilingual sign written in both Croatian and Serbian had been removed, this time from a court building.

Since the signs were put up in September they were removed on several occasions, while the police was placed in front of the building for a while to guard them.

But Croatian PM Zoran Milanović and the group organizing the protests, “the HQ for the Defense of Croatian Vukovar,” met last week and agreed that the police should be withdrawn.

After the meeting, Milanović said that the signs would remain in place “since the law must be respected” - but that the police would no longer guard them, and that it was “up to everybody’s consciousness and sense of responsibility (to decide) how to behave.” […]

That should turn out well.


A girl gestures during a protest against Cyrillic signs at Zagreb’s main square April 7, 2013. Around 20,000 Croats, mostly war veterans, rallied on Sunday on the central square in the capital Zagreb to protest against a plan to introduce signs in the Cyrillic alphabet used by Serbs. REUTERS/Antonio Bronic (From Reuters, April 7: “Croat war veterans protest against Cyrillic signs” — Around 20,000 Croats, mostly war veterans, rallied on Sunday on the central square in the capital Zagreb to protest against a plan to introduce signs in the Cyrillic alphabet used by Serbs.”)

Croatia belongs to Europe,” indeed.

Croatia’s accession is a major step towards the full reunification of Europe,” indeed. (Beware the full reunification of Europe, particularly when it’s being hailed by a reunified Germany expanding its reunification.)

Back in April, we had this: Serbian Consulate in Rijeka, Croatia, Attacked (”An unknown perpetrator threw a Molotov cocktail at the Serbian consulate in the coastal city of Rijeka, but failed to inflict any damage… The mayor warned that ‘turning to nationalism, which we can see happening every day, could unfortunately lead to similar events like this’.”)

And July brought this:

Memorial to Croatia Concentration Camp Victims Destroyed

A memorial plaque honouring World War II concentration camp victims who died on the Croatian island of Pag has been vandalised again, just weeks after being restored.

The Serb National Council in Croatia announced on Monday that this was the third time that the memorial on Pag had been demolished since the early 1990s.

The attack came just weeks after the plaque was replaced at a commemoration in late June for the victims of the WWII concentration camp complex which included Slana and Metajna on Pag and Jadovno on the nearby Croatian mainland.

“It is unacceptable that for the third time there is no reaction from the authorities who are obliged to protect the legacy and memory of the victims of World War II and the legacy of anti-fascism,” the council said in a statement.

An estimated 40,000 people were exterminated at the camp complex during its brief period in operation between April and August 1941, mostly Serbs and Jews.

It was run by the Ustasha authorities who ruled part of the former Yugoslavia during WWII in alliance with Mussolini’s Italy and Hitler’s Nazi Germany.

The plaque was installed by Coordination of Jewish Municipalities, the Jadovno 1941 Association, the League of Anti- Fascist Veterans and the Serb National Council in Croatia.

From a blog about the same incident:

…The memorial plaque to victims of Croatian Ustasha camps on the island of Pag was first set up in 1975 and destroyed 1991, when neo Nazi Croatia was reborn; it was rebuilt in 2010…and two days later it was destroyed.

…The [SNC] statement pointed out that it is almost unbelievable that the representatives of the people and victims, anti-fascists didn’t rise against revisionism in all the spheres of the Croatian society.

“Indifference doesn’t only insult the memory of the victims, but also opens [the] door to fascist behavior of young Croats who [celebrate] singing lyrics that glorify killing of Serbs on the streets of the capital or at the foot of the monument in Jasenovac,” noted the SNC [which] also stated that such a phenomena in Croatia today should not be a problem exclusively of representatives of minority groups, but should also be the subject of interest of the Croatian state politics.

Croatian NAZI Camp Slano on the island of Pag was established for Serbian men and Metajna for Serbian women and children. According to Italian documents and survivors’ testimonies a very large number of Serbian people [were] murdered and thrown into the sea.


Serbian children in Croatian concentration camp in Pag island

Thousands of tourists…visit Pag and its famous Zrće beach every year… “What people don’t know is that Zrće is about eight kilometres from the village of Metajna, where in June 1941 the first camp for Serbian and Jewish women and children in the Second World War was opened, and next to it was camp ‘Slano’, which received its first inmates on 24 June, 1941”.

The Serbs from the Slano were murdered by tying rocks around their necks and cutting open their belles so that they would not float out, and then they were thrown overboard into the sea where people today are partying and swim”, he stated and added that the attitude of the Croatian authorities towards [these] execution sites is devastating.

Besides the fact there is often no plaque there, there is not a single mark that 70 years ago Croatian nazi concentration camps ever existed.

All Croatian websites promote the whole [s]ite as a Croatian Ibiza, so one can only see invitations to tourists to have fun in Pag, Slano [and] Metajna concentration camps.

“One of them is… ‘Feel the mystical silence that dominates, disturbed only by cries of seagulls and eagles’, and they invite people to scuba dive and enjoy the depths of the sea off the coast where inmates were thrown in’, said Bastašić and added that there are photographs of people sunbathing on the location where Italians exhumed 793 bodies of inmates and 91 children.

According to the research conducted so far on the complex of Ustasha camps “Jadovno – Gospić 1941”, which also include the island of Pag, no fewer than 40,123 victims were murdered, 38,010 Serbs, 1999 Jews and the rest were ideological opponents of the Independent State of Croatia. […]

At least Muslims are happy in Croatia; nice to see that Croats and Muslims still love each other:

Position of Muslims in Croatia example for Europe, says Zagreb mufti (Dalje, Aug. 7)

The position of Muslims in Croatia is enviable when compared to the other states in the region and the contractual relationship between the Croatian government and the Meshihat of the Islamic Community in Croatia is an example that should be followed by all European countries, Zagreb Mufti Aziz Hasanovic was quoted as saying in Wednesday’s issue of Sarajevo’s Dnevni Avaz daily.

He said the contract signed in 2002 “is in line with the official recognition of Islam in 1916 and can serve as an example, but also as a model in seeking solutions for Muslim communities in European countries as well as a model in solving (the status) of Christian minorities in the Islamic world.”

Hasanovic said the Islamic Community in Bosnia and Herzegovina was preparing a contract to legally strengthen its position in line with the solution in force in Croatia.

And if there’s one thing that Bosnia needs, it’s a stronger Muslim position.

New pastry idea: Musnut, a mushroom-flavored doughnut.