What's the difference between a Long John and an eclair?
A Long John is what we, in the USA, call a long thin filled doughnut. Long Johns are made out of doughnut dough, usually fried. The result is usually soft when fresh. Long Johns are usually filled with jelly, sugar cream or vanilla pudding. The earliest reference to Long Johns I can find is 1945. They weren't thought very highly of.
Eclairs are made of choux dough, piped onto a baking sheet, and baked. Choux dough is a paste made from fat (butter or margarine), flour, water and enriched with egg. The result is usually a bit crispy when fresh. Eclairs can be filled with icky super-sweet sugar cream, sweetened whipped cream, or (heaven!) custard, and are often topped with chocolate icing.
Eclairs were developed around the turn of the 19th century. The name means "lightning," but nobody really knows why they're called that. Some say it's because the light glistens on the icing, but that isn't confirmed. It might be because they disappear like lightning, at least when I'm around.
Of the two, I prefer eclairs, but I'll take a Long John if it has custard or pudding in it and there are no eclairs available.
Let's be honest: I'd eat a stick, if it had custard in it and chocolate icing on top.