National Doughnut Week, from May 18 to 26 this year, calls for a hearty indulgence in the sweet fried cake. ‘Doughnut’ is also spelled as ‘donut’, and it is enjoyed all over the world in different shapes and flavors. One of the most popular doughnut forms is where the dough is shaped into a disk with a hole in the middle and then rolled in crystal sugar or glazed with icing sugar. Apart from being celebrated for the treat’s iconic taste and rich history, National Doughnut Week is also held to raise funds and awareness for The Children’s Trust, a U.K.-based charity organization that helps children with brain injury.
History of National Doughnut Week
National Doughnut Week was first celebrated by Christopher Freeman 29 years ago. Freeman is the director of the Dunns Bakery in the U.K. The bakery is no less than a historical relic as it was established and acquired by the Freeman family almost 200 years ago.
Robert Freeman first went to Northamptonshire in 1820 to start work as a baker in Highgate. Several decades and two centuries later, Christopher Freeman has continued the work of his ancestors by taking the Dunns Bakery to new commercial heights. Freeman announced National Doughnut Week to raise funds for The Children’s Trust and other organizations. The week has managed to raise about £972,200 as well as £437,100 for The Children’s Trust.
Whilst National Doughnut Week is only 29 years old, the sweet treat is much older than that. Doughnuts are said to have been invented by the Dutch in the 19th century. Known as ‘olykoeks,’ or ‘oil cakes,’ the dough was deep-fried until it turned golden brown. The fried dough often remained uncooked so it was also filled with nuts, fruit preserves, or cream. Then, in 1847, Hanson Gregory, an American sea captain, punched a hole in the center of the dough to ensure that it cooked fully. Thus, we have Captain Gregory to thank for the modern-day doughnut shape with a hole in the middle. To not waste the dough that would be removed from the middle of a doughnut, bakeries also fry the ‘doughnut balls’ and sell them as ‘munchkins.’ In other cultures, such as the Middle East, doughnuts are also made using a liquid mixture of flour and water that is first deep-fried, and then glazed with a special rose sugar syrup and further garnished with nuts.
National Doughnut Week timeline
Washington Irving’s book, “A History of New York, from the Beginning of the World to the End of the Dutch Dynasty,” becomes one of the earliest records of the mention of doughnuts.
Adolph Levitt, a Russian immigrant, invents a doughnut-making machine.
Levitt’s doughnut-making machine is showcased at the World Fair, instantly boosting doughnuts’ popularity all over the country.
David Freeman, who is Robert Freeman’s great-grandson, acquires the Dunns Bakery to run it as a family business.
National Doughnut Week FAQs
When does National Doughnut Week take place?
National Doughnut Week will be taking place from July 10 to July 18.
Are there two National Doughnut Days?
Yes, there’s not just one National Doughnut Day, but two. One of them is celebrated on the first Friday of June, and the other one is on November 5.
Why is it called a ‘doughnut’?
There are no set records explaining the reason behind the name. But according to some historical scholars, the treat was named ‘doughnut’ because many people would stuff the center of a doughnut with a nut.
How To Celebrate National Doughnut Week
Eat a doughnut
If you were looking for a sign to eat a doughnut seven days a week, this is it. Don’t hold back and enjoy the treat in all its glory this National Doughnut Week. But, obviously, don’t overdo it and make yourself sick in the process.
Make a doughnut
To appreciate the sweet treat, make doughnuts from scratch. The best part? You can customize the toppings according to your liking. The better than best part? You get to eat it too.
Spread the word for charity
One of the main reasons the National Doughnut Week was started in the first place was to raise awareness about social campaigns such as The Children’s Trust. Spread the word on your social media accounts and/or donate to the causes.
5 Facts About Dunkin’ Donuts That Will Blow Your Mind
Dunkin’ Donuts original name
The famous company was first called Open Kettle but the owner, William Rosenberg, changed it to Dunkin’ Donuts when he felt that the catchier name would bring in more customers.
Dunkin’ saved by coffee
The company was failing miserably in 2003 before the CEO changed the whole game by focusing the brand’s image on coffee.
Croissant-doughnuts at Dunkin’
In the first three months of its debut, the croissant-doughnut sold around 8.5 million times alone.
The first branch still operates
The very first branch that Rosenberg opened in Massachusetts still operates to this day.
Donation partners for unsold food
Any Dunkin’ Donuts food items that remain unsold are always donated to a donation partner by each franchise.
Why We Love National Doughnut Week
It’s a celebration of great food
Doughnuts belong to that food category that is loved and cherished by many across the world. A single bite into that sweetness takes us back to our childhood and other nostalgic moments. Whether you have it as a breakfast item or as a dessert or simply as a special treat, you are always in for a good time.
It’s a celebration of cultures
Doughnuts come in all shapes, sizes, and flavors. Different cultures have different ways of preparing them. Some fill them with cream, custard, or jam, while others drench the deep-fried dough in sugar syrup or chocolate. The sky’s the limit here.
It’s a celebration of unity
National Doughnut Week aims to bring to light social causes. The Children’s Trust and other charity organizations have benefitted immensely from the spotlight that the week puts on them.
National Doughnut Week dates