ORIGINS OF DOUGHNUTS
& COOKING ARTICLE
true origin of today's doughnut is among the most colourful
of old, tall tales of the sea. Historians agree the
doughnut originated with Hanson Crockett Gregory, a
sea captain of Rockport, Maine. One version of the story
tells how his crew encountered a terrible storm. While
this fierce tempest raged, the ship's cook appeared
bringing popular fried Dutch cakes to Gregory as he
fought to keep his vessel on an even course. Then a
giant wave struck and the vessel lurched precariously.
it caught the crew off guard, Gregory slammed his cake
down onto the spoke of the ship's wheel. When order
was restored and the cake removed it had a hole through
the middle. The central portion, which was sometimes
(reputedly) soggy, had gone.
alternative account names Gregory as the Captain of
the good ship Frypan. In this version a number of his
crew had eaten fried cakes to excess. Indeed the sailors
were so sated that several fell overboard and drowned.
Gregory was devastated. The fried cakes were banned.
All agreed they were too heavy. In his anger the distraught
captain poked holes in all the remaining cakes. Now
they were not only lighter, but they resembled life
incident is closer to the facts, Gregory made his findings
public and Maine seamen enjoyed the cakes with the holes.
Ninety four years later (1941), a great debate was held
in New York's grand Hotel Astor. Among its principle
speakers was Gregory's descendant, F E Crocket of Camden,
Maine. He threw cold water on the seagoing invention
stories, pointing out that Captain H C Gregory was a
mere fifteen year old when both events were said to
have occurred. Were the dates wrong? Or was F E Crocket
right? He believed that Hanson had simply told his mother
to remove the centre of her fried cakes to rid them
of the soggy bit in the middle.
delegate, Chief High Eagle, a Wampanoag tribesman, said
his people created the doughnut when several of their
arrows missed settlers, striking Pilgrim's cakes instead.
In 1872 John Blondel of Thomaston, Maine, took out a
patent on a spring loaded doughnut hole machine and
by the Great War doughnuts were so popular that the
Salvation Army sent them to American troops. Mass production
began with a machine introduced by a Bulgarian immigrant;
Arnold Levitt in 1921. After World War Two , Levitt
founded the Donut Corporation of America.
for Captain Gregory, a plaque was installed at his birthplace
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