D-DAY—Tomorrow June 6 is National Doughnut Day and the following is are various hole truths about this tasty pastry. Pillar to Post staff gleaned the Internet for donut tidbits and embellished somewhat on all those stale donut posts. Fresher donut stuff here and quite frankly better written. But we do admit there are a few holes in our story.
To lead off, says freelance writer Bethany Moncel, “...the doughnut—in Zelig-like fashion—has popped up in surprising ways through the ages. For example, it played a role not only in the traditional prelude to Lent, but in Hanukkah and Ramadan rituals; it found its way to American doughboys in the trenches of World War I; and Red Cross Clubmobiles, equipped with built-in doughnut machines, served fresh doughnuts to servicemen during World War II—along with music, magazines, candy, and other comforts of home.”
--The Rosetta Doughnut. Historic sources claim the Dutch were making
doughnuts in the mid-19th century. Holland immigrants brought the “oil cakes” (olykoeks) to the States.
--There’s a new book out on the doughnut by Chef, culinary historian and donut lover Michael Krondl. Called “The Donut: History, Recipes, and Lore from Boston to Berlin (Chicago Review Press)” now available at bookstores and on the net.
--The first doughnuts were lumps of fried dough and it wasn’t until bakers realized if they punched a hole in the middle the doughnut would bake more evenly.
--Again writer Bethany Moncel insists one solution to the gooey, uncooked center of the doughnut was to stuff it with fillings that did not require cooking but Hansen Gregory, an American ship captain, had another solution. In 1847 Gregory solved this problem by punching a hole in the center of the dough ball. The hole increased the surface area, exposure to the hot oil, and therefore eliminated the uncooked center.
--According to statistics from various law enforcement agencies approximately ten billion donuts are made annually. Now go back and read that last sentence again.
--A childrens’ charity in England claims if all donuts sold since the founding of National Donut Day were stacked on top of each other, they would reach the International Space Station. Who’s gonna argue?
--Historians are in a food fight over how the term doughnut was shortened to donut. No one agrees. Most likely it was easier to make a bigger sign by using the words DONUTS. Except very young grandchildren have forever asked what is a “dew”nut?
--The Godfather of modern donutry is the late Adolph Levit, an immigrant from Russia, who in 1920 built the first automated donut making machine. After Adolph creation, donuts were firmly niched in the comfort food Hall of Fame.
--The first Donut Day was launched in 1938 by the Chicago Salvation Army, who used the day as a fundraising event during the Great Depression. By tradition it is celebrated on the first Friday of June.
--The average three-inch donut contains 195 calories.
--Guinness World Record to eat a jelly filled donut is 33 seconds. Also, Guinness logs the most donuts eaten in one eight-minute sitting is 49.
--As recent as these things are counted, Boston has 250 donut shops, the most in the country, which is about one shop per 2,480 persons. But, the Canadians boast they have the most donut shops in the world. Eh?