• Dutch Settlers used to call donuts “olykoeks,” which means “oil cakes” The origins of New England’s original donuts likely lie with settlers from the English county of Hertfordshire, who brought with them recipes for yeast-raised “Hertfordshire Nuts,” which were also called “dow nuts” (dow-nuts is likely a non-standard spelling of dough-nuts). It’s a little unclear which name came first, Hertfordshire Nuts or Dow-Nuts. Though the Hertfordshire Nuts date to a 1750 cookbook and the Dow-Nuts to a manuscript dated around 1800, both terms could have been used simultaneously.
  • Donuts have a long history. They were first by a young sailor named Hanson Gregory, according to the Smithsonian magazine. He was making good use of his mother’s spice cake recipe and fried dough leftovers to make what we now know as donuts. Gregory’s donut recipe quickly became popular with his buddies and the word spread. Also, it was Gregory who came up with the idea of cutting out the center of the donut, making them easier to cook evenly all the way through. And so, the modern-day shape of the donut was born.

  • Donuts were originally a breakfast food, but they have since become popular at all times of the day.
  • Donuts have become a popular canvas for artistic expression. Many bakers create elaborate designs on their donuts, including edible glitter, fondant decorations, and even portraits of celebrities.
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