Doughnuts are deep-fried round pastries, most commonly filled with cream or jam, or ring-shaped with a hole in the center. Sometimes, the dough from the hole cut out in the center is baked and served as a tiny treat called doughnut holes. Doughnuts have been around for a long time, though their actual point of origin is widely disputed. Most people can agree that these tasty pastries date back to the 19th century and are thought of as an American thing, though they are served in various forms and go by different names all around the globe. Who invented these delightful pastries, however, is still unknown.
Though the details of its early history are in question, there is no doubt that the doughnut really hit its stride in America in the 20th century. One of the country’s most popular doughnut shops, Dunkin’ Donuts, got its start in 1950 and launched the doughnut to national fame. Other popular shops like Krispy Kreme, Tim Horton’s and more have continued to spread the pastry around the country, and now, you’d be hard-pressed to find a town without a dedicated doughnut stand.