Why Is There A Hole In A Doughnut?
Like with most fun foods, finding their creators can take you down the rabbit hole. (Try finding out who invented Buffalo Wings, for example.) So it is with our favorite delectable delight with a hole in the middle--the ubiquitous doughnut (or donut, if you prefer.)
Wikipedia's entry on the subject lists a number of entrants staking claim to the doughnut's invention. One theory says that the treat was created in North America by Dutch settlers. The most recent is from 2013 when someone found a recipe for "dow nuts" in a book written in 1800 by the wife of an English baron. This one has some credence because the recipe included nuts as one of its ingredients.
When it comes to the most peculiar part of the doughnut, most authorities agree as to who first put the hole in the middle. As legend has it 16-year-old Gregory Hanson, an American, was aboard a lime-trading ship in 1847 that served cakes fried in oil as part of its daily menu. Seems that young master Greg didn't much care for the consistency of the confection, because while the outside of the cakes were crisp, the insides were greasy and doughy.
Hanson decided to punch a hole in the center of the dough to allow the oil to cook the dough more evenly on the inside as well as the outside. Apparently it worked, so he gave the idea to his mother who then created a recipe that included putting nuts in the middle of the pastry. She called the creation "doughnuts" which arguably has become America's favorite breakfast food. We even have a day set aside to celebrate this doughy, dunkable, delight.
Since 1938 the first Friday in June has been declared National Donut Day. It was created by the Salvation Army to honor the "Lassies" who served doughnuts to American soldiers in the foxholes of France during World War I. The Salvation Army Lassies also provided writing supplies, stamps, clothes-mending and home-cooked meals for the soldiers on the front lines. The first Doughut Day was held during the Great Depression as a way to bring awareness to the social programs of The Salvation Army.
In celebration of National Donut Day, The Salvation Army Women’s Auxiliary will be serving free donuts and coffee, courtesy of Dunkin’ Donuts, to Veterans at the Overton Brooks VA Medical Center from 8:30 am until 10 AM tomorrow.
Plus your neighborhood Dunkin' Donuts will give you a free donut with a beverage purchase while supplies last tomorrow.
So, eat a donut tomorrow--they're a hole lotta fun.