D is for Diet (kidding)

No, of course D is not for Diet. Diet is a 4-letter word. Can’t have that here! 🙂

D is for DOUGHNUT  or, if you prefer, DONUT. Both are acceptable spellings in America, though “doughnut” is more traditional and “donut” is more advertising-lingo.

Simpsons Lard Lad Donuts

Simpsons Lard Lad Donuts

D is also for the Dutch settlers who brought their oliekoek  [‘oil cake’] to America and where it became the basis of what we know know as a doughnut.

(Those Dutch settlers also brought cobbler, cookies, and apple pie to America.  They get my award for most useful and beloved colonial American immigrant import. I mean, what did the Puritans bring, aside from a gloomy piety? Just sayin’. )

It’s gone through many refinements since the first “nut” of dough Washington Irving described in 1809 as  “balls of sweetened dough, fried in hog’s fat, and called doughnuts.”   In the mind-19th century, a teenager on a trading ship,  Hanson Gregory, added the hole to the dough, to ensure the center was fully cooked. That became the American doughnut as we know it today.

Of course, there are a lot more options available now.

Cake or yeast-raised? Old-fashioned or glazed?

donut plain old-fashioned [185x143]  donuts plain glaze [197x144]

                                                 Plain or fancy?

donuts cake [194x147]  donuts fancy [194x147]

Chocolate, plaid, striped, sprinkled, sugared, frosted, filled?

donuts chocolate [300x168]   donuts plaid [188x147]

donut jelly [265x190]donuts powder [187x152]

donuts striped [259x194]

Under all the embellishments, the American doughnut is, at its holey core, fried sugary dough. And Americans have no monopoly on that delectable confection. From churros to zeppoli, doughnuts in their infinite variation are truly a global concept.

Bombolini in Italy, filled with jam or chocolate. French beignets, hot fritters dusted with powdered sugar. The jam-filled Berliner is popular in Germany (except in Berlin, where it’s called pfannkuchen — which the rest of Germany knows as pancakes).

Latin America has many versions of bunuelos — Cubans use yuca and drizzle the fried dough balls with anise syrup; in Columbia the treat is saltier, made with cheese curds.

Tunisian yo-yo’s are covered in honey and decorated with sesame seeds.  Chinese sesame seed balls, jin deui or matuan, are filled with sweet black bean paste. In Nepal, the ring-shaped sel roti is made from rice flower with cardomom and mashed banana, then cooked in ghee; it’s a traditional part of the Hindu Tihar celebration.

Everyone around the world loves doughnuts, but the biggest fan must be Homer Simpson:

donut giant homer [220x230]    donuts homer price [160x232]Coincidentally, another fictional doughnut lover is also named Homer — one of my favorite books as a kid was Homer Price and the Doughnut Machine.

Nowadays I rarely indulge [see 4-letter word, above]  but when I do, I’m lucky to live not far from Bob’s Donuts on Polk Street, where they make my favorite:  cake-style, cinnamon sugar coated. Yum!

donuts bobs shop [170x185]donuts bobs [194x163] donut favorite [194x145]

What’s your favorite? Cake, plain, chocolate, cruller? Krispy Kreme, Dunkin’ Donuts?

National Doughnut Day is the first Friday in June. This  year, that’s June 7, 2013. Mark your calendars.

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9 thoughts on “D is for Diet (kidding)

  1. Not really a doughnut fan. I think it’s VERY American and not being born and raised her I never understood the whole kerfuffle over them. However, once a year at hanukkah time I indulge in a sufganiya – an Israeli deep fried donut filled with jam. It’s a tradition worth partaking of – one a year. Then you feel kind of sick afterwards!

    • Well, the official National Doughnut Day is June 7, 2013, b/c that’s the 1st Friday in June this year. JUne 7th is the day Krispy Kreme and Dunkin’ Donut will be giving away freebies. But what the heck, it’s his birthday, celebrate all week! ;-D

  2. I just want you to know that because of you and this post, I have made, eaten, and enjoyed the hell out of my first-ever PB / banana / chocolate chip sandwich. (It was on diet fiber bread because we don’t have any white, BUT STILL.)

    This is such a terrific idea for a series, and a wonderful ode to simple, happy food!

    (My vote is for crullers, by the way. Age has washed out a lot of my “OMG MUST HAVE” food obsessions, but I could see myself going to jail over a box of Dunkin Donuts crullers.)

    • LOL! I see a SWAT team surrounding Dunkin’ Donuts….choppers overhead…cop on megaphone: “Mr. Thompson…please step AWAY from the crullers….NOW!”
      Very impressed you were inspired to experiment with a PB/nana/chip sandwich. I almost didn’t include that photo b/c I didn’t think it looked too appetizing ;-p And I’ve never eaten one myself, this was a fave comfort food a friend spoke about (longingly. While eating carrot sticks).
      Glad you enjoyed the post ;-D

  3. Okay, now, this just isn’t right. I sit here reading this at 2am and boy am I hungry now. I’d love to have a fresh donut. They are one of my very favorite foods. And I must say that the donut with maple frosting on the top is my very favorite. Next is the lemon filled, and apple filled, and the yummy whip cream filled. Oh my, so much for the diet (opps said that nasty four letter word).

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