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The History of Doughnuts

The History of Doughnuts

Though doughnuts have become ingrained in American cuisine, they were brought there by European settlers.

Doughnuts travelled to the US with Dutch settlers and became a much-loved national snack - despite their invention as a hunger-busting austerity food.

Fried dough is an old, old vice. It probably has been on the menu for as long as flour has been milled and large quantities of animal fat or oil have been on hand.

The North American version seems to have its origins in the decades after the American Revolution when a Dutch treat took on a new identity as "doughnuts".


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The Military Origins of the Doughnut

The Military Origins of the Doughnut

  • For all the joy a doughnut brings, fried dough is something you make when you don't have anything better around.
  • Doughnuts' folksy cred may have reached its apex with the doughnut girls of World War One, Salvation Army volunteers who fried doughnuts for American troops.
  • Hundreds of thousands of them were handed out near the trenches, and posters and tributes to these women's devotion to bringing a taste of home to soldiers abound.
  • By the time the war ended, the doughnut became an ingrained symbol of home.
  • The modern doughnut is seen as a dessert, but earlier varieties were much more rustic.


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