About National Doughnut Day
America loves doughnuts so much it celebrates not one but two national holidays in honor of the fried-dough treat. There’s National Donut Day, which arrives on the first Friday in June, and National Doughnut Day on Nov. 5th.
A doughnut or donut is a type of fried dough confection or dessert food. The doughnut is popular in many countries and prepared in various forms as a sweet snack that can be homemade or purchased in bakeries, supermarkets, food stalls, and franchised speciality vendors.
At the 1934 World’s Fair in Chicago, doughnuts were advertised as the “food hit of the Century of Progress” and became an instant hit at a nickel a piece.
National Doughnut Week was launched in the same decade and now, nearly a century later, we celebrate doughnuts the entire month of June (National Doughnut Month and National Doughnut Day on June 4th).
The doughnut craze could never have been sustained were it not for the invention of the automated doughnut machine by Russian refugee Adolph Levitt in 1920.
The Salvation Army in Chicago is credited with inaugurating this food-themed holiday, having launched it in 1938 to raise funds during the Depression, as well as to honor female members or 'Lassies' who served doughnuts to soldiers on the front lines during World War I.
Donuts and the hole truth
The earliest origins of the modern doughnut are generally traced back to the olykoek (or oily cake). Dutch settlers are said to have brought the recipe with them when they settled in New York. The olykoek did not have a hole in the middle, but the ingredients and preparation were much the same. The term doughnut can be traced back to 1803 cookbooks as well.
Where the hole came from is another tangled bit of information. Some say it happened at sea with a Captain Gregory, and as a cost-saving measure, others think the center of the doughnut was filled with, what else, nuts, to save on ingredients but also to fry them up quickly without a soggy middle. Whatever the case, the hole provided a quicker more even frying which led to a better taste.
- Did you know? Canada has the largest concentration of doughnut shops in the world, (Japan is number two), and Canadians eat the most doughnuts in the whole world.