Cakes shaped like a microscopic view of the coronavirus SARS-CoV-2 are seen at a bakery, amid concerns about the spread of the disease (COVID-19), in Prague, Czech Republic, on October 6, 2020. (REUTERS/David W Cerny)
A restaurant in Prague's historic center has invented a dessert shaped like the novel coronavirus, an attempt to arrest a slump in business that is already proving a hit with customers.
The Black Madonna would normally be bustling with tourists admiring its cubist interior, but it has suffered as travel to the Czech Republic slumped amid the pandemic and the country battles one of the highest rates of coronavirus infections in Europe.
The dessert's creator, Olga Budnik, said she got the idea during lockdown in the spring.
"I found a photo of the virus on the internet and I figured out in detail how to make the dessert - how to make the spikes, what the color would be like, and I prepared it all," she told Reuters.
The dessert is slightly smaller than a tennis ball, with a chocolate crust and dusted with cocoa butter spray. The virus' "spikes" are made of white chocolate and dried raspberries.
Inside there is a pistachio filling with raspberry puree and raspberries in the center.
The delicacy has been a big success, with sales of more than 100 each day and rising.
"The coronavirus crisis has meant a huge drop for us, in tens of percent, like for other gastro enterprises," the cafe's marketing manager Vojtech Hermanek said.
"But at the same time it was a chance to bring out the coronavirus cake which is a symbol... showing that not everything is lost."
Budnik, a Ukrainian living in Prague for the past six years, already has sights on the next product – a COVID-19 vaccination-themed sweet which should taste of citrus and liqueur.
"It will be lots of lime with a bit of alcohol," she said.
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