“Why did the blonde return a donut? Because there was a hole in it” – Well this is just a normal donut joke! Just like funny jokes, the doughnut has many fun facts too. Donuts are a tasty treat, the whole world over. It is estimated that most Americans eat 63 dozen doughnuts per year. That’s a lot of dough!
So, here are a few more doughnut fun facts that you probably don’t know. Read on!
1. Doughnuts are older than you think
The history of doughnuts facts is very interesting. Doughnuts can trace their origins as far back as ancient Greece and Rome. These doughnuts consisted of fried balls of dough, dribbled with honey and fish sauce. Side note: fish sauce flavored doughnuts are not very popular today.
Arabs would fry them without sugar, then sweeten them by coating them with a syrupy sugar mix. This trend spread to Europe, where the Dutch began calling them oil cakes, or oliekoecken. The Dutch and the pilgrims brought this treat to America’s shores. Or did they?
Just when the doughnut origin story was solved, archaeologists have unearthed the remains of the petrified donut shaped foods in prehistoric ruins left by ancient Native Americans.
2. Origins of doughnut holes
If you dig the doughnuts holes origin then you will find many doughnut fun facts about it. Doughnuts used to be thick and unevenly cooked in the center, so bakers started cutting holes in the centers of them to ensure the entire pastry was cooked all the way through.
There is a story that a sea in 1847, a sea captain named Hanson Gregory shoved a doughnut onto the spoke of his ship’s steering wheel to grab the wheel with both hands during a storm; while he happily claimed to have invented the ring shape we associate with doughnuts today, this is probably just a whale of a tale.
Doughnut holes are small balls of dough that are prepared like their ringed cousins. Therefore, Dunkin’ Donuts named them Munchkins as a nod to The Wizard of Oz to attract kids to the favorite bite-sized treats.
3. Chains of rings
Founded under the name of Open Kettle in 1948, Dunkin’ Donuts is the oldest continuously running chain of doughnut shops. It also vies for the coveted Most Popular Doughnut Shop, along with Tim Horton’s and Krispy Kreme. Dunkin Donuts dominates the eastern shore of the United States, while the stores are harder to find in the westward states.
Each chain has its own perks. Dunkin’ Donuts is famous for the total package of delicious treats and the most popular doughnut chain coffee, while Krispy Kreme is known for its warm, fresh doughnuts dripping in thick, sticky sugary coatings.
Krispy Kreme’s hot donuts are so famous that they have a sign informing customers when the donuts are “Hot Now,” and a phone app to tell people when their local shop has freshly made, hot from the oven donuts.
4. Donut feats in history
There are many doughnut fun facts linked with its feats. The largest doughnut ever made was in 1993, Utica, New York. This donut was a staggering 1.7 tons and was 16 feet across, 16 inches high. Sadly, the world’s largest cup of coffee, measuring 2010 gallons, wasn’t brewed until 2010 in Las Vegas, Nevada.
Additionally, the largest mosaic made from donuts was crafted in 2012 in Ukraine, using 7040 donuts. In 2007, in the United Kingdom, the tallest stack of donuts was formed using 1764 donuts. The stack was pyramid shaped and measured 110.5 cm or 43.5 inches in height. This stack was made to honor the release of the Simpson’s Movie and Homer’s Simpson’s famous love of doughnuts.
Also, Krispy Kreme made the world’s most expensive doughnut in 2017, valued at $1500 (£1110). The doughnut featured jelly filling made from Dom Pérignon champagne, edible diamond accents, a white chocolate lotus gilded in gold, and 24 karat gold leaf sprinkles. It was displayed at Selfridges, a London based department store. We will never complain about the price of our doughnuts again!
5. Doughnuts weren’t always round
In the early days of doughnuts, these treats were flat or rolled in shape. They were also associated with small unevenly shaped balls of dough that resembled walnuts. Dough Nut; we see what you did there. Bakers realized that these shapes did not allow for uniform cooking of the dough, so they began to push out the centers of the treats, forming the rings we know and love.
In 1920, a Russian refugee named Adolf Levitt invented the machine that automatically shaped the doughnuts to keep up with the rising demand for the treats in his shop. He then marketed the machine across the country, and it was recognized as a game changer in the grand donut scheme at the Chicago World’s Fair, and the world of ringed doughnuts in the United States was firmly established.
6. The first dunks
There are some other interesting doughnut fun facts associated with its dunking donuts trend. The dough used in making doughnuts wasn’t always sweetened. During wars or times of poverty, sugar was hard to come by. Honey and other toppings were used to sweeten the pastries, but they would frequently be dry and flavorless otherwise.
This all changed in 1934 when Clark Gable famously dipped a donut into a glass of milk in the movie; It Happened One Night. Suddenly, dunking donuts became a trending fad.
7. Canadians eat more donuts per capita
Canadians consume the most donuts in the world, with Japan coming in at a close second. Closer to home, in the States, donuts are an up and coming industry. 193 million Americans eat doughnuts annually, with the production standards at approximately 10 billion doughnuts made per year. The amount of money associated with doughnuts in America is an astounding $3.6 billion.
8. Police genuinely do like doughnuts
In a completely true stereotype, law enforcement officers genuinely do like doughnuts. This tradition began in the 1950’s when police were looking for a late night pick-me-up while working overnight. Doughnut shops and coffee shops were generally the only places open late at night and early in the morning for them to grab a snack and a cup of coffee.
Many shops offer free coffee to law enforcement; it’s a great way to ensure that police trickle in randomly throughout the day and night, keeping the shops safe. On a related note, police officers know the best doughnuts and coffee in their cities, but most people refuse to ask them. Surely, it is an interesting doughnut fun facts which are unknown by many.
9. National doughnut day…again and again
There are actually multiple doughnut days in the United States throughout the year. June 8, for instance, is considered National Jelly-Filled Doughnut Day while September 14 pays homage to the cream filled doughnut.
National Doughnut Day is traditionally the first Friday in the month of June. It was started in 1938 by the charity group, the Salvation Army, to honor 250 women who served active military doughnuts during World War I. These women fried the doughnuts in soldiers’ helmets at their encampments. The day was also used to gather funds for feeding the poor during the depression.
For some reason, a second National Doughnut Day is September 14. It is unclear where this second date came from, but who really cares? Free doughnuts!
10. Doughnuts or Donuts?
The terms are completely interchangeable. The word “donut” had its first printed appearance in 1900’s novel, Peck’s Bad Boy and his Pa, while others trace the shortened term back to advertising used for doughnut making machines.
Dunkin’ Donuts popularized the spelling “donut.” Much like calling facial tissues “Kleenex” or gel treats “Jello,” the word donut has become common in the doughnut world.
11. Evolution of doughnuts
Move over, common doughnut; there is a newer contender on the rise. A shop in New York City began to cross doughnuts and croissants and called them Cronuts. These were so popular when they introduced in 2013 that people stood in line for hours to buy them, then resold them for upwards of $20 a piece, presumably in some highly secretive Doughnut Black Market.
However, although it’s likely we all have given our favorite fried dough appreciation in one way or another, how much do you really know about this classic treat? If we’ve missed some doughnut fun facts, please let us know.