National Donut Day: 13 Things You Didn’t Know About Donuts

Do you know the donut? The fun circle shaped pastry has its own celebration day: National Donut Day on June 5th – TODAY! While you nibble and dunk your donut of choice into your coffee or milk, here are thirteen fun facts to help you appreciate it even more.

  1.  It’s All In The Name: The origin of the name “donut” is as mysterious as the hole in its center. Some say the 19th century Dutch came up with the concept with their “olykoeks” or oily cakes. Others give the history to the French with their “pets de none” or “nun’s farts” pastries. Whalers in the 1800’s celebrated successful trips by frying their version of donuts up in whale oil. There is ongoing debate as to “doughnut” v. “donut” with no one settling on one name or the other. Whatever the origin, our lives without donuts wouldn’t be the same.
  2. More than Zero: While the donut itself is shaped like a big fat zero, there are actually over 10 billion donuts made every year in the United States alone. The original donut didn’t have a hole in the middle. By the 1830’s, the hole had been added to make donuts cook more evenly.
  3. The Day of the Donut: While donuts today are now a quick on-the-go breakfast, they began their lives in the 20th century with strong ties to our soldiers. In WWI, Doughnut Girls brought a taste of home with donuts to the soldiers. WWII’s Doughnut Dollies passed out hot donuts to soldiers as well to drive up morale and remind them of homemade bake goods. Donut Sallies handed out donuts with tunes in rolling donut vehicles equipped with gramophones like mobile donut djs. In 1938, Doughnut Day began from those war-time donut distributions.
  4. Flavor Profiles:  If you can think of it (or even haven’t imagined it yet), a donut flavor or filling probably exists. From seaweed to Boston Crème, unique flavors have become the trend of the moment. There is even a Pepto-Bismol donut to calm your stomach (or not).
  5. Donut of the Future: Pastry chefs and donut makers are always looking for the next best thing. Lines form for blocks for the donut/croissant hybrid that combines flaky pastry layers with the traditional donut form. Donut shops roll out their own version of the Cronut to keep up with the demand while home cooks have laboriously tried to create the complicated pastry.
  6. Hands-On Favorite:  While the age-old debate of chocolate and vanilla, cake or yeast rages on, the simple fact is that the hands-on favorite donut will always be the most simple: glazed.
  7. Look Ma. I’m a Donut!: There are at least thirteen people in the United States named Donut. Perhaps they are friends with Michael’s Jackson’s kid, Blanket and Katie Holmes kid, Apple?
  8. Where Everyone Knows Your Donut: While Boston is know for offering Cheers to everyone, they also offer more donuts per capita than any other state with a donut shop for around every 2,500 people.
  9. I Don’t Make Donuts, I Just Play a Baker on TV: Remember the Donut. Baker that is. Michale Vale spent years playing Dunkin Donut’s Fred the Baker who was eternally getting up in the wee hours to “make the donuts”.
  10. My Donut Store or Yours: The ubiquitous “don-ut” spelling of the original doughnut can be credited to Dunkin Donuts with their unique moniker. While they lay claim to creating the spelling of the name of the pastry, they also followed trends by naming their pop-able Munchkin donut holes to capture the magic of the Wizard of Oz. Krispy Kreme created their own claim to fame by opening their first store in 1937 in Winston-Salem, NC. Neither store could succeed without the quick creation of their donuts. Both stores have Adolph Levitt to thank for inventing the donut machine in Czarist Russia in 1920 when created the first donut-making machine.
  11. Donuts and Cops: While the running joke of cops and donuts is often a punchline, there is a truly simple explanation as to why cops and donuts go hand-in-hand. When cops in the 40’s and 50’s ended their graveyard shift, donut shops were some of the few places open. When they stopped for an early morning breakfast, the donut shops benefited as well. A police car in front of their store implied a cop was there to protect them.
  12. Out of this Donut: While Krispy Kreme offers kosher donuts with no nuts to make donuts accessible to even people with severe allergies, there are some donut options that you might not expect out there in donut world. Taco Bell is testing Cap’n Crunch donut holes. The Luther hamburger at Crave Real Burgers takes the donut to a whole new level (or two) by sandwiching a hamburger, bacon, cheddar, egg and onion between not one, but two full donuts.
  13. After all these donut facts, nothing beats the real thing. If you are looking for a hot donut or even a funky one, donut shops around the world have left the light on for you.

Check out these beautifully crafted donuts that celebrate the sweet puffy things everyday of the year!


Photo via Flickr by Anz-i (The Fat Elvis donut from Gourdough’s food truck in Austin, Texas)

Photo Via Flickr by

Photo Via Flickr by vnysia

Photo via Flickr by Gordon

Photo via Flickr by LittleDaan (The beautiful Cronut)

The post National Donut Day: 13 Things You Didn’t Know About Donuts appeared first on Karma Kiss Blog.

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