HEY EVERYONE! Stop what you are doing right now and find your nearest donut supplier. IT’S NATIONAL DONUT DAY! Celebrate this #blessed holiday with me by brushing up on your donut knowledge.
Have you ever read the Wikipedia for donuts? No? Not even by accident during one of those weird Wiki-spirals where you search for the filmography of some actor and somehow end up reading the entire synopsis of a court case from the 90s? Well today I took a peek at the story behind my favorite sweet treat in honor of today’s lovely holiday.
Apparently there is a bit of a debate as to the exact origin of donuts. Here are a few possibilities listed on the Wiki:
One theory suggests they were invented in North America by Dutch settlers, and in the 19th century, doughnuts were sometimes referred to as one kind of oliekoek (a Dutch word literally meaning “oil cake”), a “sweetened cake fried in fat.”
Not much to go on here but that sounds legit.
Hanson Gregory, an American, claimed to have invented the ring-shaped doughnut in 1847 aboard a lime-trading ship when he was 16 years old. Gregory was dissatisfied with the greasiness of doughnuts twisted into various shapes and with the raw center of regular doughnuts. He claimed to have punched a hole in the center of dough with the ship’s tin pepper box, and to have later taught the technique to his mother. Smithsonian Magazine states that his mother, Elizabeth Gregory, “made a wicked deep-fried dough that cleverly used her son’s spice cargo of nutmeg and cinnamon, along with lemon rind,” and “put hazelnuts or walnuts in the center, where the dough might not cook through”, and called the food ‘doughnuts’.
That also sounds reasonable. That guy would have made a fortune on Shark Tank. Also, I love that Smithsonian Magazine referred to the food as “wicked.” Behold the power of donuts.
According to anthropologist Paul R. Mullins, the first cookbook mentioning doughnuts was an 1803 English volume which included doughnuts in an appendix of American recipes. By the mid-19th century, the doughnut looked and tasted like today’s doughnut, and was viewed as a thoroughly American food.
The holiday is celebrated on the first Friday of June each year (mark those 2017 calendars in advance) and was inspired by the 1938 Doughnut Day event created by The Salvation Army to honor soldiers during World War I.
About 250 Salvation Army volunteers went to France. Because of the difficulties of providing freshly baked goods from huts established in abandoned buildings near the front lines, the two Salvation Army volunteers (Ensign Margaret Sheldon and Adjutant Helen Purviance) came up with the idea of providing doughnuts. These are reported to have been an “instant hit”, and “soon many soldiers were visiting The Salvation Army huts”. Margaret Sheldon wrote of one busy day: “Today I made 22 pies, 300 doughnuts, 700 cups of coffee.” Soon, the women who did this work became known by the servicemen as “Doughnut Dollies”.
So, this holiday has some heart you guys! Do your patriotic duty and eat some fried dough with sprinkles on it.
ENJOY THE DAY!
AND CLICK ON THE IMAGES BELOW TO READ OUR DONUT TIME POSTS!
TOPSAIL ISLAND, NC
Happy National Donut Day!