National Doughnut Day on November 5th is one of two observed by doughnut lovers across the nation. The first Friday in June is the other day doughnuts steal the bakery case spotlight ready to tease their way into white bakery box home!
For more information on the National Doughnut Day celebrated in June.
History disputes the origin of the doughnut. One theory suggests Dutch settlers brought doughnuts to North America much like they brought other traditional American desserts. They receive credit for such desserts as the apple pie, cream pie, and cobbler.
Doughnuts come in many shapes. Was the original doughnut round? If so, American, Hanson Gregory laid claim to inventing the ring-shaped doughnut in 1847. He was on-board a lime-trading ship. Only 16 at the time, Gregory claims he punched a hole in the center of dough with the ship’s tin pepper box. Later, he taught the technique to his mother.
Traveling further back in time, we look at an English cookbook. According to anthropologist Paul R. Mullins, an 1803 volume included doughnuts in the appendix of American recipes. However, the earliest recorded usage of the term doughnut is found in a short story in a Boston Times article about “fire-cakes and dough-nuts” published in 1808.
A more commonly cited first written recording of the word is Washington Irving’s reference to doughnuts in 1809 in his History of New York. He described balls of sweetened dough, fried in hog’s fat. The author called them doughnuts. Today, these nuts of fried dough are called doughnut holes.
Another author, William Cullen Bryant describes doughnuts fried in lard in his book Picturesque America; Or, the Land We Live In which was published in 1872.
Donut versus Doughnut
- Print ads for cake and glazed donuts and doughnuts existed from at least 1896 in the United States.
- George W. Peck published Peck’s Bad Boy and his Pa in 1900. It contained the first known printed use of donut. In it, a character is quoted as saying, “Pa said he guessed he hadn’t got much appetite and he would just drink a cup of coffee and eat a donut.”
- In 1919, the Square Donut Company of America was founded. Square donuts offer an easier to package product.
The more traditional spelling is doughnut. However, both doughnut and donut are pervasive in American English.
Doughnuts come in a large variety of recipes, flavors, and toppings. However, just like many pastries, we are only limited by imagination and ingredients at hand. From syrups and jellies to sprinkles and custards, top them, fill them, bake them or fry them. Doughnuts have a mouth-watering way of glazing and dusting their way into our shopping carts. They also slip into the break room at work to share.
HOW TO OBSERVE #NationalDoughnutDay
Stop at your favorite doughnut shop and indulge in a fresh doughnut or try making your own with one of the following recipes:
Use #NationalDoughnutDay to post on social media.