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It is believed that in 1847, Elizibeth Gregory, a New England ship captain's mother, made a deep-fried dough that used her son's spice cargo of nutmeg, cinnamon and lemon rind. She made the deep-fried cakes for son Hansen and his crew so they could store the pastry on long voyages...and to help ward off scurvy and colds. Mrs Gregory put hazelnuts or walnuts in the centre, where the dough might not cook through, and as a result called them ‘dough’ nuts. Hansen always took credit for the hole in the donut (often spelled doughnut). Some donut historians think that Hansen was a bit of a cheapskate and was just trying to save on food costs. Others say that he gave the donut its first hole when, in the middle of a terrible storm and in order to get both hands on the ships wheel, he crammed one of his mothers fried sensations onto one of the wooded spokes of the wheel. Yet another tale claims that he decided, after a visit from an angel, that the doughy centre of the fried cakes had to go. Her son Hanson presented ‘his’ creation to the people who apparently sang and danced for days in praise of the best fried cake they had ever tasted. Today, the town of Clam Cove in Maine has a plaque in honour of Captain Hanson Gregory, the man who invented the hole in the donut.

The first donut machine was invented in 1920, in New York City, by a man named Adolph Levitt, a refugee from czarist Russia. Levitt's donut machine was a huge hit causing donuts to spread like wildfire. By 1934, at the World's Fair in Chicago, donuts were billed as ‘the hit food of the Century of Progress’. Seeing them made by machines ‘automatically’ somehow made them seem all the more futuristic.

Technology might have come a long way since then, but we think some things are best left to tradition. Our donuts stay true to the classic treat – light and tasty. We're happy to say our donuts don't have gooey centres or nuts to conceal them...just lashings of the most delicious raspberry jam or creamy custard – worth a try!

Source: http://www.wentz.net/donut/history_of_the_donut.htm
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