History of Donuts


Donuts have been in the Americas since before the US declared independence. As the tale goes, an archaic version of the donut was brought over to Manhattan by the Dutch in early colonial times. They were called “olykoels” which means “oily cakes.” The recipe was discovered on accident when a cow knocked a vat of hot oil over some pastry mix. The Dutch kept it a secret from their homeland and it has been an American tradition ever since.

There are a couple of different stories when it comes to how the tasty treats got their iconic middle hole. Near 1847, Captain Hansen Gregory of the British navy had donuts baked by his mother served to his crew. Some say he invented the hole in order to simply cut costs and save on precious ingredients over long voyages. Another story goes that he was contacted by a divine angel at which point he had an epiphany that inspired him to remove the holes from his mother’s pastries. Yet another legend has it that he invented the donut’s hole inadvertently during a wicked sea storm. In order to get a control of the ship’s wheel with both hands he smashed his mother’s donut down into one of its spokes.

Fast forward to around 1920 and you have the first donut making machine ever invented. Adolph Levitt, a refugee from czarist Russia living in New York was the machine’s creator and though he didn’t invent the donut he is certainly credited as being the one who made them explode in popularity. By the 1930s donut machines only added to the pastry’s appeal as people marveled at the futuristic ingenuity that created their tasty treats.

Even to this day people still love to watch donuts being made and they love to eat them once they’re done. The mini-donut factory captures the magic of vintage donut machines that transfixed the first generation of donut-fans and every generation since.

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