3 years ago

Mmmmm … donuts

It’s National Donut Day – a holiday
celebrated the first Friday of June each year. Celebrate with us by getting 50% off all donuts in our bakery.

National Doughnut Day recognizes June 7, 1938 when Morgan Pett, a young military doctor, gave doughnuts to the wounded World War I soldiers he was treating. He enlisted more help to boost soldiers’ morale and eventually included the Salvation Army in his efforts.

These sweet, tasty treats are
not only part of our American heritage, but they also can be traced back to
prehistoric times. To celebrate this delicious holiday, pick up some
fresh-baked donuts from our bakery, grab a cup of coffee and check out the
fascinating history of the donut. 

  • Archaeologists have found fossilized bits of what look like donuts in the middle of prehistoric Native American settlements.
  • In medieval Europe, donuts were what you gorged on during Carnival, the feast period before the 40 days of Lent. 
  • Some say donuts came to Manhattan (then called New Amsterdam) by the Dutch, who called them olykoeks (“oily cakes”). Others say donuts came to New England by Protestant settlers who wanted to do away with Catholic holidays and enjoy fried cakes whenever they wanted.
  • Early donuts were hole-less and small enough to fit in your pocket, roughly the size of a walnut. And so the name “dough nut” was born.
  • In 1803 the first printed recipe for donuts appeared in Sussannah Carter’s The Frugal Housewife.
  • In 1846, in The Skillful Housewife’s Book by Mrs. L.G. Abell, she calls for her “Excellent Common Fried Cake” to be “cut as jumbles” – the term for a ring-shaped pastry – allowing the dough to cook more evenly and faster than a donut without one.
  • Around the same time, Elizabeth Gregory, a New England ship captain’s mother, created a deep-fried dough that her son could take with him on long voyages. She used nutmeg, cinnamon and lemon rind to help ward off scurvy and colds, and she filled the center, where the dough might not cook through, with hazelnuts or walnuts – literally creating “dough nuts.”
  • During World War I, women volunteers brought donuts to soldiers on the front lines for a taste of home.
  • In 1921, Adolph Levitt invented the first automated donut machine in New York City and introduced the world to premade donut mixes.
  • By the 1934 World’s Fair in Chicago, donuts were billed as “the food hit of the Century of Progress.” Seeing them produced “automatically” somehow made them part of the wave of the future.

    During this time, a donut
    cost less than a nickel.

  • In 1937, the first Krispy Kreme donut store was created in North Carolina.
  • Red Cross women, later known as Doughnut Dollies, handed donuts out to soldiers during WWII.
  • By the late 1950s there were 29 Krispy Kreme stores in 12 states, turning out 75 dozen donuts in an hour. Meanwhile, the first Dunkin’ Donuts store opened in Massachusetts in 1950, introducing flavors such as chocolate-glazed and Boston crème.
  • In 1929 Americans ate 216 million donuts. Today, by one count, we eat close to 10 billion a year.


Smithsonian Magazine