Week of July 24 – Donut factsJuly 24, 2011
The doughnut, as we know and love, supposedly came to Manhatten (then still New Amsterdam) under the Dutch name of olykoeks–“oily cakes.”
In early colonial times, US. Dutch immigrants discovered fried cake. So, the story goes, a cow kicked a pot full of boiling oil over onto some pastry mix, thus inventing the golden brown delight.
In the Middle of World War I, millions of homesick American “doughboys” were served up countless doughnuts by women volunteers, trying to give the soldiers a taste of home.
The first doughnut machine was invented in 1920, in New York City, by a man named Adolph Levitt, a refugee from czarist Russia. Levitt’s doughnut machine was a huge hit causing doughnuts to spread like wildfire.
By 1934, at the World’s Fair in Chicago, doughnuts were billed as “the hit food of the Century of Progress”. Seeing them made by machines “automatically” somehow made them seem all the more futuristic.
Legend has it that dunking donuts first became a trend when actress Mae Murray accidentally dropped a donut into her coffee while dining at Lindy’s Deli on Broadway in New York City.
Hansen Gregory, an American, claimed to have invented the ring-shaped doughnut in 1847 aboard a lime-trading ship when he was only sixteen years old. Gregory was dissatisfied with the greasiness of doughnuts twisted into various shapes and with the raw center of regular doughnuts. He claimed to have punched a hole in the center of dough with the ship’s tin pepper box and later taught the technique to his mother.
The largest doughnut ever made was an American-style jelly doughnut weighing 1.7 tons (3739 lbs), which was 4.9 m (16 ft) in diameter and 40.6 (16in) high in the center. It was made in Utica, New York, USA on January 21, 1993.
According to the Guinness Book of World Records, the record for donut eating is held by a man named John Haight, who consumed 52 ounces of donuts (about 26 average donuts – or 20 Tom and Son’s donuts) in just over six minutes in 1981.← Week of June 26 – Food Trivia Week of July 31 – Crazy records! →