Doughnuts or Donuts? 10 Fun Facts You Need to Know!
Donuts are currently more popular than baguettes or croissants in France, known as the homeland of bakeries. The change in dietary habits of France’s younger generation has led to the popularity of American fast food items, including donuts. It is said that the taste preferences of the younger generation have changed after the Covid-19 period, and global franchises have aptly capitalized on this shift. Now, let’s talk about donuts, a popular food item worldwide.
Definition of Donuts
Donuts are fast food items made by mixing flour, sugar, butter, and eggs and then frying them in oil. They are a simple snack, but many people consume them as a quick meal due to their large servings and high calories. In fact, during the Great Depression, coffee and donuts were often used as a form of relief food distributed to the unemployed at private relief centers. They were easy to make and high in calories, making them an easy energy source for anyone.
Etymology of Donuts
The term “donut” combines “Dough” and “Nuts.” The original shape of the fried bakery, which became the prototype of donuts, was different from now. The color of the greasy fried cake was similar to the brown color of nuts, hence the name flour-made nuts.
Origin of Donuts
There are various theories about the origin of donuts. Still, the most dominant one is that it was a favorite food of the Dutch-Americans who immigrated to the United States. The Dutch then enjoyed fried dishes, not only donuts but various dishes fried similarly. The donuts they consumed at that time were different in shape. They rolled the flour dough in pig fat, scooped it out, and rolled it in sugar. In other words, there was no hole, which is a symbol of donuts.
Why Donuts Have Holes
There are several theories about why there is a big hole in the center of donuts. One theory says that 150 years ago, an American captain named Hansen Gregory created the hole so he could eat donuts while holding the steering key during his voyage. However, not one person’s behavior changes the entire food culture; the most credible theory is that the hole was made so that the center of the donut could be well-cooked when baking.
Dunkin’ VS Krispy Kreme
Donuts are currently mainly spelled as donuts. Dunkin Donuts shortened the initial spelling of ‘Doughnut’ to the current one. Dunkin’ Donuts and Krispy Kreme Donuts are two major mountains competing in the donut market. Krispy Kreme Donuts has been in business since 1933, and Dunkin’ Donuts since 1950, and both brands’ products are officially distributed in our country. In Korea, apart from these two major mountains, small-scale brands such as Notted Donuts and Old Ferry Donuts have recently received much attention.
Germany’s Jam Donut, Berliner
Not all donuts in the world take the same shape. Foods fried in flour dough have been commonly consumed in the United States and everywhere in the world. You can find traditional foods of similar shapes in Asia, including Korea and China. In Germany, a menu called Berliner is mainly consumed as a type of donut. It is a donut with jam inside the flour dough, and similar shapes are made in Israel’s Sufganiyah and Poland’s Pączek.
Spanish Donut, Churros
The churros we usually eat in amusement parks can also be considered donuts. After mixing ingredients such as butter, flour, water, and sugar, put it in a bag and squeeze it out, then bake or fry it and finish it by applying sugar and cinnamon powder. Although the final product is different, the manufacturing method itself can be said to be the same as donuts. In fact, in Australia, churros are called “Mexican Donuts.” Some people see churros as a dish from China, Portugal, and Spain.
Cruller, Similar to Twisted Doughnuts
A Cruller is also a form of donut. They are foods made by twisting high-density flour dough and frying it, then applying sugar or cinnamon powder. The name cruller is said to have originated from the Dutch expression “to twist.”
Israel’s Donut, Sufganiyah
Sufganiyah is a famous donut in Israel, a round donut without a hole in the middle. The center is filled with jam or cream and finished by sprinkling sugar. Sufganiyah means sponge in Hebrew and is mainly consumed during the Hanukkah festival. Hanukkah is a Jewish festival during which fried foods are mainly eaten. The representative example of fried flour food is Sufganiyah, and the jam-filled inside is mainly strawberry, raspberry, and vanilla.
Malasada (Coconut Donut) is a donut that is said to have originated from Portugal. This small, round donut is filled with coconut cream without a hole in the middle. Malasada means “bad thing” in Portuguese. In Portugal, coconut donuts are mainly consumed during the Mardi Gras festival. Currently, Malasada is the most famous food in Hawaii, more than anywhere else. In Hawaii, you can easily find Malasada donut mix in supermarkets.
By. Deok Soo Choi