History disputes the origins of the donut...or doughnut as it is formally known. "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." According to anthropologist Paul R. Mullins, an 1803 volume of an English cookbook 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."
Now, as promised, here are a few delicious donut facts to help you celebrate National Donut Day.
1. Print ads for cake and glazed donuts and doughnuts existed from at least 1896 in the United States.
2. 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.”
3. In 1919, the Square Donut Company of America was founded. Square donuts offer an easier to package product.
4. Over 10 billion donuts are made in the U.S. each year.
5. At least 10 people living in the United States have the last name of "Doughnut" or "Donut."
6. Voodoo Donuts in Portland, Oregan used to sell "medicinal" donuts that were dipped in NyQuil. The Pepto Bismol dipped donuts were also coated with crushed up Tums.
7. Spudnuts are donuts that are made from mashed potatoes or potato starch instead of flour. For a while, they were hugely popular.
8. The French used to call their version of doughnuts pets de nonnes, which translates into "nun farts."
9. There is some truth to the "cops love doughnuts" troupe. "Back in the 1950s, police officers on the graveyard shift would stop by doughnut shops—which were among the few establishments open late—to do paperwork and have a snack. Eventually, a reciprocal relationship developed: Doughnut shop owners welcomed the protection of police officers, and police officers liked having a place to chow down late at night, so the association stuck around."
10. Doughnuts were declared the "hit food" of the century by the 1933 Chicago World's Fair.
11. Donuts were served to soldiers during World War I. "During World War I, Salvation Army workers would bring soldiers doughnuts and coffee in the trenches of France to cheer them up and remind them of home."
12. Per capita, Canada has more donut shops than any other country.
13. The largest donut ever made was an American-style jelly donut which weighed 1.7 tons. was 16 feet in diameter, and was 16 inches high in the center.
14. The Guinness World Record for the most donuts eaten at one sitting is held by John Haight who consumed an impressive 29 donuts in just over 6 short minutes! Amazing and terrifying at the same time.
15. National Donut Day was officially established in 1938 by the Chicago Salvation Army to raise much-needed funds during the Great Depression.
So there you have it; everything you could ever want to know about donuts. And if you have any doubt as to how best to celebrate this day, it would be, of course, to have a donut or two with your cup of coffee or TEA-rific tea.
Please come back tomorrow for another helpful lesson from my wise and wonderful friend, The Dharma Frog. But until then, I wish you