More About National Doughnut Day
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.
Doughnuts come in many shapes. 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.