When the Salvation Army created Donut Day in 1938 to honor the ladies who served doughnuts soldiers to soldiers during WWI, they already had access to what would become an American icon – the Krispy Kreme Original Glazed® Doughnut.
Officially scheduled for the first weekend in June (this past weekend), for some strange reason, National Donut Day is today.
Where doughnuts come from
Although the doughnut is widely regarded as a thoroughly American invention, more probably it is Dutch in origin.
This makes perfect sense when you consider the other desserts introduced to Americans by the Dutch – cookies, apple and cream pies and cobbler – besides the “oil cake,” one the first names given to what we call doughnuts.
When Dutch immigrants settled in the United States, they brought with them a sweet, ball-shaped fried pastry that was cooked in pork fat.
Americans create doughnut holes
It’s a bit more certain that Americans created the doughnut hole.
Hanson Gregory, an American, probably invented the ring-shaped doughnut in 1847 aboard a lime-trading ship at age 16.
Unhappy that oil cakes were so greasy and usually cooked unevenly (even to the point of being raw in the center), Gregory punched a hole in the center of dough with his ship’s tin pepper box and later taught the technique to his mother.
The result is the doughnuts we enjoy today and have since the mid-19th century.
Once considered scraps, doughnut holes are now big business, sold by the bag and buy the bucket at doughnut retailers like Dunkin’ Donuts®.
Enter Krispy Kreme®
The doughnut world was knocked on its head in 1937 by one Vernon Rudolph, who, equipped with a French recipe for yeast doughnuts and a rented building, introduced Krispy Kreme® doughnuts on July 13, 1937 in Winton-Salem, N.C.
This comes as no surprise to Southerners, many of whom have practically lived on Original Glazed® at one time or another.
Many of us were schooled early about when to show up at the local Krispy Kreme® shop to get them hot out of the oil.
That smell is what put Rudolph in mind of doughnut shops in the first place.
Intended for sale in grocery stores, Rudolph’s cooking doughnuts immediately drew the attention of people in the street who began asking how to buy them hot.
So Rudolph grew cut a hole in his street-side wall and grew another revenue stream when he started selling hot Krispy Kreme’s® directly to the public.
Through the nearly 40 years that Rudolph was at helm of Krispy Kreme®, the company pioneered the modern industrial doughnut making process.
He made and kept all Krispy Kreme’s® doughnuts are kosher.
The company was recognized as a 20th-century icon in 1997 when it donated corporate artifacts to the Smithsonian Institution’s National Museum of American History in Washington, DC.
Krispy Kreme® Today
Although not as modern and sexy to some as Dunkin’ Donuts® – home of the best chocolate cake honey-glazed doughnuts on the planet– Krispy Kreme has nonetheless made its presence known throughout the world.
The humble Krispy Kreme hot Original Glazed® doughnut can be found in 20 countries outside United States and Puerto Rico: Australia, Bahrain, Canada, China, Dominican Republic, India, Indonesia, Japan, Kuwait, Lebanon, Malaysia, Mexico, the Philippines, South Korea, Qatar, the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, Thailand, Turkey, the United Arab Emirates and the United Kingdom.
©2013 All rights reserved.
OFFICIAL BIO: K Truitt is a second-generation, native Floridian born in Jacksonville. Truitt worked in public higher education for 25 years and knows newspaper publishing, printing and graphic design. Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org