This was certainly news to me, and maybe it will be for you, too. On this date in 1847, historians normally state the doughnut was invented. It seems like there are a myriad of names for the delectable treats, and there were earlier versions of this in the U.S. Originally, these sweets were introduced by Dutch settlers, and they were called olykoeks or oily cakes. The actual story of the invention does vary. But most historians agree that Captain Hanson Gregory’s mother often made these treats for him to take on his ocean voyages. These early “doughnuts” had no hole in them, and the story goes that she sent along the recipe with him so his cook could make more, if he so chose. One story says that he impaled the cake on the boats steering wheel to keep his hands free when storm suddenly came up. He decided he liked these treats better with a hole in them, and he ordered his cook to make them that way from now on. Another story states that his mother put a hazelnut in the center, and perhaps her son did not like the nut and poked the nut out thus causing a hole in the cake. Hence the name “doughnut.” Whatever the true account, Captain Gregory published the following in the Boston Post on this date in 1847: “the first dough-nut hole ever seen by mortal eyes.”
My biggest complaints with doughnuts is that they are so good but are incredibly unhealthy. I’m one of the weird ones who prefer baked doughnuts. Another thing that really bothers me is that we in America insist on being lazy in the spelling of the delicacy. The spelling is “doughnut,” not “donut!” (One spell-check caught that, and another did not.) Whatever the real story, most people cannot pass up this wonderfully tasty, fried treat.
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