“It’s time to make the donuts!” This tag line from an old Dunkin’ Donuts commercial seems to be a fitting way to begin this blog that celebrates National Donut Day, which is Friday, June 2. Who doesn’t love doughnuts?! Whether you spell these tasty treats “doughnuts” or “donuts,” they have certainly evolved over the years from “olykoeks” (oily cakes) made by the Dutch who brought them to the United States when they settled in Manhattan, then called New Amsterdam, to the many varieties and shapes you can find at your local donut shop, Dunkin’ Donuts, Krispy Kreme or Hurts Donuts, to name a few! Have you ever eaten a cronut? Yum!
Why is there a “nut” in doughnut? One reason was because Elizabeth Gregory from Maine back in the mid-19th century put walnuts in the center of her dough before frying to help the dough cook more evenly. Hence the name doughnut.
Now for the age-old question, how did “doughnut” become “donut”? The New York-based Display Doughnut Machine Corporation in the 1920s shortened “doughnut” to “donut” in the hopes that non-English speaking immigrants coming into New York would be able to pronounce the word as well as buy the automated doughnut making machines the company was selling. A bit further on in the 1950s, “donut” became a popular spelling because of the donut-making chain Dunkin’ Donuts.
Americans, if they eat “doughnuts” or “donuts,” do not consume the most of these yummy goodies worldwide – Canadians do!
If you have a craving for doughnuts or donuts, then check out these fun picture books and chapter books you can read to help build up your minutes for the Mayor’s Summer Reading Challenge: