Brief history of the donut

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Krispy Kreme “hot and ready” sign is lit to warn passer byers of the fresh batch of doughnuts rolling out of the frier.

The origin of the doughnut is widely debated for it has been present in places all over the world.

But in 1847 one man is credited for the creation of the hole-in-the-middle pastry, Hanson Gregory. Gregory, a cargo ship captain, fried balls of dough until golden brown and one day decided in order to steer his ship with both of his hands. He impaled the doughnut on the ships steering wheel thus having access to the golden goodness while piloting his ship.

Whether this is a tall tale or truth Gregory increased the surface area and eliminated the uncooked center that he encountered often when making the pastries. These pastries weren’t “doughnuts” until an article in the Washington Irving in 1809 spouted out its new calling. Doughnut is is also abbreviated to “donut.”

Doughnuts first started showing up in history in the mid 19th century when the Dutch emigrated to America. They set up shop in New Amsterdam now known as New York city and made “olykoeks.” Roughly translated to oily cakes that were filled in the center with almonds and dried fruit to prevent an inedible uncooked center. Mass production of hole-in-the-middle pastries started in 1920 when Adolph Levitt invented the first doughnut machine.

According to David A. Taylor in “The History of The Doughnut” on Smithsonian.com, the fried circles were an instant hit in his bakery.

“Hungry theater crowds pushed him to make a gadget that churned out the tasty rings faster, and he did,” Taylor said.

That bakery became the first Krispy Kreme.