Love Doughnuts But Not Aware Of Its Origin? Know Here

Doughnuts are the ultimate comfort food. Doughnuts are so tender and fresh that they easily crumble and melt in your mouth. You can feel the topping crumbling on your tongue as it enhances the doughnut with its unique flavour and texture. From the traditional ring doughnut to the more extravagant filled varieties, or even the doughnut holes, which have gone from being a waste product to a full-fledged dish in their own right, they're beloved by people all over the world. 

Several legends surround the making of this sweet treat that can be eaten as a snack. Ancient Greeks and Romans fried cakes and drizzled them with honey if we go back in time to when dough was first fried. The Arabs also fried dough blobs, which looked like filled doughnuts instead of the more common hole kind, and then dipped them in sugar syrup to make them sweeter. Gulab jamuns, which originated in India and are produced in the same way, are a close relative of filled doughnuts. 

Donuts, according to many, originated in the Netherlands. Immigrants from New Amsterdam, who settled in what is now New York City, unexpectedly carried their culinary traditions with them. Among their culinary traditions were oliebollen, or oiled balls, and olykocks, which means oily cake. The pork fat-fried dough, basically. A History of New York, From the Beginning of the World to the End of the Dutch Dynasty, written by Washington Irving in 1809, has a reference to "balls of sweetened dough, fried in pig's fat, and called doughnuts, or olykoeks." Some people think that the fried dough traditions of the United Kingdom or Germany are the ancestors of the modern doughnut. 

However, the majority of culinary historians concur that the modern American doughnut may have only existed from the middle of the 1800s. According to one account, the notion originated with American sailor Hanson Gregory in 1847. At the time, he saw that doughnuts were simply balls of crispy dough with a raw centre. At the age of sixteen, he devised the simple solution of cutting the dish in half to solve this problem. He used a tin pepper box lid to "cut into the middle of that doughnut, the first hold ever seen by mortal eyes," as he subsequently told the Washington Post. After telling his mother about his creation, her ring doughnuts quickly gained popularity. 

Regardless of where they came from, the doughnut only really became popular during World War I. The Salvation Army sent a team of 250 volunteers to France along with food and supplies for the US troops. Ovens were hard to come by, but the volunteers had planned to prepare pies and cakes. The logical solution was to use the pans they had to switch to doughnuts since necessity is the mother of invention. They allegedly used broken coffee makers to make holes in the dough, cut them with empty baking powder cans, and then rolled out the dough using bottles and shell casings. The ladies became well-known as "Doughnut Lassies." So, following the war, the doughnut had established itself as a staple of American culture, growing in acceptance over time, particularly among law enforcement. 

The first doughnut machine was introduced in New York City in 1920 when Adolph Levitt, a Russian Czarist immigrant, began serving fried doughnuts at his bakery. He was forced to build a machine that could produce them more quickly because of the strong demand. As demand for Levitt's equipment increased, bakers around the nation began to place orders for them. Before a while, a number of businesses selling doughnuts began to appear. 

Currently, this snack or dessert is popular all over the world, with people experimenting with it and customising it to fit their own culinary traditions. Jalebi doughnuts and kaju katli are also available in India. While maintaining the basic concept of frying dough, people are experimenting with unique presentation and topping techniques. A doughnut ball might be dipped in chocolate sauce, whereas gulab jamuns are dipped in syrup; yet, the procedures are remarkably similar. We've come full circle in that gulab jamuns can be thought of as the doughnut's ancestors.