(CNN) — Not to be wholly confused with National Donut Day, November 5 is National Doughnut Day.
The day in June celebrates the “Donut Lassies” who worked for the Salvation Army during World War I distributing doughnuts to American soldiers in France. Today’s day celebrates the actual foodstuff.
Doughnuts have been around since long before the First World War, and we have the Dutch to thank for them. The Dutch would make “olykoek,” which translates to oily cake. The first Dutch doughnuts didn’t have a hole, but they were fried in hot oil and the dough was sweet.
It wasn’t until 1847 that then 16-year-old Hanson Gregory claims he created the holed-out doughnut we know and love today. Sick of doughnuts with a raw center, he used a pepper pot to punch out holes to help his doughnuts cook more evenly. By 1920, Adolph Levitt, a Russian living in New York, had invented a doughnut machine. Thirteen years later, doughnuts were proclaimed the “Hit Food of the Century of Progress” by the World’s Fair in Chicago.
We’ve come a long way since then. There are doughnut glazes, fillings and toppings galore. In 2011 alone, more than 200 million doughnuts were sold in the United States.
By Emily Smith
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