Donuts have been popular for centuries, but do you know how they came about?
In the mid-19th century, a New England ship captain’s mother, Elizabeth Gregory, made a wicked deep-fried dough that used her son’s nutmeg and cinnamon spice combination. It is thought that she made this dough so that her son and his crew could store a pastry on long voyages. Mrs. Gregory put hazelnuts or walnuts in the center, where the dough may not have cooked through, hence the name doughnuts.
While Elizabeth created the beginnings of a doughnut, her son was actually the one to put the hole in the now traditional donut. It is rumored that he gave the donut this shape when he skewered his donut on a spoke of his ship’s wheel because he needed to keep both hands on the wheel. How convenient! Later, however, Captain Gregory stated in an interview that he cut into the middle of a donut with a round, tin pepper box. For what reason, we don’t know.
Donuts didn’t actually become popular until World War I when millions of American doughboys were served millions of donuts by women volunteers who even brought them to the front lines to give soldiers a tasty reminder of home.
The first donut machine was built in 1920, and boy are we thankful! While there are a variety of donuts to choose from now, the original will always be one of our favorites!
The history of donuts is special to us because every week our lovely Winter Texans enjoy hot, fresh donuts in our meeting room. We love getting together over coffee and a sweet treat and sharing about the beach treasures we found that week. We love our Winter Texans!