National Donut Day: A Dozen Fun Facts

If all of this makes you hungry, remember many chains and donut shops are offering a free donut today.
This post was published on the now-closed HuffPost Contributor platform. Contributors control their own work and posted freely to our site. If you need to flag this entry as abusive, send us an email.

By Charlene Bert for

In honor of National Donut Day, we've rounded up a dozen facts about the history of Americans' favorite breakfast treat.

1. No wonder donuts get their own day...

More than 10 billion donuts are made each year in the U.S.

2. Now, THAT'S a lot of dough...

How do all those donuts translate into money? Ponder this: The top 10 doughnut brands in the U.S. alone produced $1.008 billion in sales revenue last year.

3. When did Donut Day start?

Donut Day started in 1938 to honor those in the Salvation Army who served the tasty treats to soldiers in World War I. On this, the 70th anniversary of D-Day in World War II, it is a fitting tribute to honor all of those who have served, and those who serve those who serve.

4. Someone needs a tip in making treats sound delicious...

The Dutch are credited with bringing donuts to the U.S. in the 1800s. They were first called "olykoeks", or oily cakes. Apparently, the world of marketing hadn't become important. Not exactly a drool-inducing name. It's OK... they taste good. That's all that counts!

5. Now, this one is just plain funny...

If you think the Dutch name was less than appetizing, the French version is simply silly. In France, small deep fried fritters or donuts are called "pets de nonne" or "nun's farts." Really? Wish we had been there when that little nickname was formed. Wonder what the real story is there?!

6. And the winner is...

It seems like variety is not a problem when it comes to the delicious dough. There are some traditional as well as crazy flavors (think seaweed!). However, when people are asked to name their all-time favorite, the winner on list after list is the tried-and-true: Glazed. What's your fave?

7. Hello, I'm looking for Donut...

We know there are some food-based names out there. Think Gwyneth Paltrow's daughter Apple or the baseball player Coco Crisp. But, did you know that 13 people in the U.S. are actually named Donut (as a first name)? We're guessing their moms were super hungry after a long night of labor!

8. Where can you get a donut fix in a hurry?

Of course, there are donut shops in basically every city and most towns. However, if you really want your fix, head to Massachusetts. Yep, Boston has the most donut shops per person -- one for every 2,480 people. And here we thought Beantown was known for its Boston cream pie. Guess Bay Staters like their treats!

9. You say 'doughnut', we say 'donut'...

While the traditional spelling of the tasty treat is 'doughnut', the Dunkin Donuts chain popularized the 'donut' version for obvious reasons!

10. "Time to make the donuts!"

Who doesn't remember that line?! Actor Michael Vale made the line famous playing Dunkin Donuts' beloved Fred the Baker for 15 years. He beat out hundreds of actors for the gig and became perhaps the most famous 'baker' for an entire generation.

11. Kosher Krispys

Krispy Kreme doughnuts are kosher. Who knew?!

12. Even Hollywood loves to dunk!

Clark Gable is said to have made donuts fashionable while teaching Claudette Colbert how to "dunk" in Frank Capra's It Happened One Night.

If all of this makes you hungry, remember many chains and donut shops are offering a free donut today.

Happy Donut Day!


Do you have info to share with HuffPost reporters? Here’s how.

Go to Homepage

MORE IN Food & Drink