1. Gimme some of those Olykoeks
When, It's National Doughnut Day - truly one of the finest holidays. But how much do you actually know about the poignant, patriotic history of our favorite fried food product? Travel back with us to the time before doughnuts. Prior to the Revolutionary War, when Manhattan was still New Amsterdam and under control the Dutch, doughnuts came ashore known only as olykoeks – or oily cakes.
2. A cow-tipping turning point
No one quite knows who first thought of using boiling oil to cook pastry, but one story traces it all back to a cow in colonial times, which apparently kicked over a pot of oil onto a mixture of pastry. The most tasty animal mistake in history.
3. Long live the Doughnut Girls
Female Salvation Army workers became known as “Doughnut Girls” on the front lines of World War I, where they would cook and distribute doughnuts for the homesick American soldiers in France.
4. Honoring the Doughboys
Long before the word “Doughboy” conjured images of the Pillsbury shorty, it was the nickname for the homesick frontline warriors during World War I, who eagerly awaited the arrival of the Doughnut Girls. For them, doughnuts were the key symbols of home
5. Cutting edge dough action
The very first doughnut machine was invented after the end of the war, coming to life in 1920 New York City, invented by Russian refugee Adolph Levitt. It was the talk of the town.
6. The food of the century
At the 1933 World’s Fair in Chicago, doughnuts weren’t just a popular fad; they were being proclaimed as the “Hit Food of the Century of Progress,” lauded as the perfect union of fresh ingredients and automated preparation.
7. The accidental dunk
Dunking doughnuts rose to popularity in 1934, after Clark Gable did it in "It Happened One Night.” But rumor has it that the first dunk took place in a New York City deli, when actress Mae Murray accidentally dropped her fresh doughnut into her cup of steaming coffee.
8. Enter the Doughnut Dollies
Doughnut Dollies replaced the Doughnut Girls in World War II, as once again doughnuts were trotted out to soldiers as a fresh, hot reminder of the homefront they were fighting for.
9. The first recipe
Anthropologist Paul R. Mullins cites an 1803 English cookbook as the first of its kind to mention doughnuts – in an appendix of "American" recipes. Even from the first days of the 19th century, the fried creations were considered a uniquely American staple.
10. The healthier option?
People will often buy bagels or croissants for breakfast, thinking they are making the healthier option in avoiding doughnuts. But at Dunkin’ Donuts, the reverse is true: A standard jelly doughnut has 260 calories, while croissants in comparison have 310 calories, and plain bagels (pre-cream cheese) have 320.