The Aman Sandesh Times

Friday, Date: Sep 29, 2023 Time: 7:58 pm


America: Soft and sugary, it has spurred the spirits of World War One soldiers on the front lines.
Warm and doughy, it has earned the adulation of Homer Simpson, the main character of America’s longest-running animated TV series.
Heart-shaped and jelly-filled, it has even been used to honour the Duke and Duchess of Sussex’s wedding.
And every 2 June since 1938, we celebrate it – the donut or doughnut – on National Donut Day in the US.
On this day each year, millions of Americans pile into bakeries across the country eating their way toward the more than 10 billion donuts made annually in the US.
However, what many don’t know is that the tradition dates back to the early 20th century on the edges of World War One battlefields in France.
In 1917, the Salvation Army sent a group of woman to France, known as the The Salvation Army’s Donut Lassies, to establish bases near the front lines. They would bake sweet circular treats, drawing soldiers to makeshift huts by the thousands.
Whether it was the glaze on the donuts or the smiles from the women who served them that boosted soldiers’ morale, remains undetermined.
After the US troops then known as the “doughboys” and the Donut Lassies returned home, the donut began its ascent toward the peak of American popularity.
The first-ever National Donut Day was celebrated in Chicago in 1938 as a tribute to the Donut Lassies, according to the Salvation Army, which champions the day.
The donut had been around long before, however.
It first arrived to American shores under the Dutch name olykoeks (oily cakes).
It took on the donut name in the mid-19th century on a New England ship where the captain’s mother would make fried goods for the crew and stuff hazelnuts or walnuts into the centre, where the dough often didn’t cook through.
Although donut historians debate who was the first to put the trademark ring-shaped hole in the centre, the woman’s son, Hanson Gregory, is largely attributed with having created the circular phenomenon.
And back in the present day, this Friday, popular donut chains such as Krispy Kreme, Dunkin and Duck Donuts will offer free items to patrons across the US.

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