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!
National Doughnut Day started in 1938 as a fund raiser for Chicago’s The Salvation Army. Their goal was to help those in need during the Great Depression, and to honor The Salvation Army “Lassies” of World War I, who served doughnuts to soldiers.
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.
- 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.
- 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.
- According to a new survey, the average American eats 31 donuts a year. That’s around two or three donuts a month.
- There are more than 25,000 donut shops in this country, and they’re pumping out more than 10 BILLION donuts a year.
- if you took all of the donuts that we ate last year and laid them side-by-side, they’d go around the Earth 19 times.
- Classic flavors remain strong: More than 50 percent prefer classic donut dough flavors such as chocolate (22%), plain (16%) and old fashioned (13%)
- Younger audiences are most likely to branch out: 82 percent of Millennials and Generation Z consumers are interested in trying new and unique donut flavors
- Parents prefer tipsy donuts: Those most interested in trying alcohol-inspired donuts were parents(21%)
- More adventurous palates are out west: West coast consumers are the most adventurous donut eaters, with 72 percent saying they’d try bold donut flavors
- Men are more spicy than the ladies:7 percent of men said they would try a spicy donut (habanero or sriracha), while only 5 percent of women would
- Per capita, Canada has more doughnut shops than any other country.
- Adolph Levitt invented the first doughnut machine in 1920.
- The Entenmann’s brothers, William, Robert and Charles, and mother, Martha, invented the familiar “see-through” cake box for baked goods in 1959. They believed people were more inclined to buy what they could see.
- Today, Entenmann’s doughnut bakery in Carlisle, Pennsylvania, is the largest doughnut bakery in the United States.
- At the Grand Canyon’s narrowest point — about 4 miles wide — you would need to put 253,440 doughnuts on a string to reach the other side.
- More than 55 million donuts would be needed to reach across the U.S. from Long Beach, California, to Long Island, New York.
- In the 1934, movie “It Happened One Night,” Clark Gable gave birth to the trend of dunking donuts in milk when he showed a fellow actor the “right way to do it.”