It's National Doughnut Day; What's Your Favorite?


Americans collectively eat more than ten billion doughnuts each year. Where did these delicious rings come from? Although some evidence exists for doughnut-like treats existing for far longer, the first doughnuts in this country are credited to the Dutch, who brought their “oily cakes” to New York (then called New Amsterdam). In the mid-19th century, Elizabeth Gregory, the mother of a New England ship captain, made a deep-fried dough incorporating her son’s cargo of nutmeg and cinnamon, along with lemon rind. “Some say she made it so son Hanson and his crew could store a pastry on long voyages, one that might help ward off scurvy and colds. In any case, Mrs. Gregory put hazelnuts or walnuts in the center, where the dough might not cook through, and in a literal-minded way called them doughnuts.” (Smithsonian Magazine)

It wasn’t until 1920 when a Russian in New York City built the first machine to produce this fried delight. Theater-goers’ hungry demand for more pushed him to produce faster and in greater quantities. By 1931, Adolph Levitt’s machines were producing and distributing doughnuts to bakeries all over the country and he was making millions from the deep-fried rings.

The doughnut is, at its heart, a simple food - milk, yeast, sugar, eggs, butter, salt, and any additional flavors desired. Once your dough has risen, you form rings and fry them lightly in oil. Since their first appearance in this country, doughnuts have evolved to include glazed or iced toppings, filled with jelly or creme, or made with different flavors like chocolate or the seasonal favorite - pumpkin. They are inexpensive and easy to find at bakeries and at the ubiquitous orange-and-pink place that has nearly a dozen locations in Clifton alone.

As we celebrate National Doughnut Day, The Clifton Times wants to know which is YOUR favorite. Click on the doughnut to vote in our poll and see which comes out on top!

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