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The First Fridays of June and the Birth of the Doughnut in America

Krista Fredrick

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Krista Fredrick | June 2, 2014 | 0

The Birth of the Doughnut in AmericaNational Doughnut (or Donut) Day is celebrated on the first Friday of June.

This delicious treat called donut or doughnut is a type of deep-fried dough confectionery shaped into rings, spheres, and may contain a jelly filling.   The most popular donuts in the United States are covered in chocolate, powdered sugar, or a stuffed with fruit.   Every year, nearly 10 million donuts are made in the United States alone, and this contributes to almost $11.6 million in revenue.

This sweet holiday was established in 1938 by the Salvation Army to raise funds during the Great Depression and honor the 250 Salvation Army Donut Lassies, (also known as Donut Girls) who served donuts to the homesick soldiers during World War I who were working on the front-lines. This tradition also continued in World War II and the Vietnam War.

However, the donut (or olykoek, as it was first called, which is Dutch for oily cake)  made its mark in the mid-19th century when Elizabeth Gregory, a New England ship captain’s mother, made a deep-fried dough using nutmeg, cinnamon, and lemon rind with hazelnuts or walnuts stuffed in the center.   The reason for this was that the center of the ‘donut’ did not often cook as fast as the outside.  Hansen Gregoy this problem by punching a hole in the center of the pastry, allowing the center to be exposed to the hot oil and, viola, the donut, as we know it today, was born.

Here are other fun tidbits about the donut:

•             The average American eats 63 donuts per year.

•             Boston, Massachusetts has the most donut shops per person.

•             The first donut machine was invented in New York City in 1920.

To learn more about National Donut Day or to find a donut, visit http://donutdayusa.com/

Short URL: http://bit.ly/2xgZI0z

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