The Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services has taken to its social media pages and proclaimed that eating a jelly donut counts as fruit, but that's only for today because it's National Donut Day.

Britannica says a donut is a "Small ring of sweet leavened dough that has been fried or sometimes baked. The term doughnut may also be used more broadly to refer to foods such as long johns, pączki, bear claws, crullers, and others that resemble doughnuts in form or composition."

We've clarified the difference between a donut and a doughnut. Donuts refer to traditional donuts that look like donuts. As Britannica mentions above, doughnut is the preferred spelling for baked goods related to donuts. Although, do you think people get that picky about which spelling one uses? I don't.

Donuts, or frying dough, eating it, and calling it delicious, has been practiced for centuries. Britannica says fried dough foods have been found in prehistoric Native American settlements, and ancient Romans and Greeks also ate sweetened fried dough.

We can thank Dutch immigrants in 17th—and 18th-century New York who made fried dough balls, which they called oil cakes when translated from Dutch to English. They stuffed fruits and nuts in the middle of the dough so the center of the dough cooked at the same rate as the rest of the treat.

Washington Irving is generally accepted as the originator of the word doughnut because he used the term in his 1809 book about New York's history from the beginning of the world to the end of the Dutch dynasty.

So, how did the doughnut get its hole? American sailor Hanson Gregory is said to have been responsible for that innovation in 1850. There are nonsensical stories of how he pierced a doughnut on the spoke of his ship's wheel in a storm or cut out the hole using the lid off a tin. More likely, though, putting a hole in the doughnut solved the problem of the sweet cooking more evenly.

A Russian refugee, Adolph Levitt, created the first doughnut machine, or at least gets credit for it; machines may have existed before his. Then, the doughnut machine was a massive hit at the 1933-1934 World's Fair in Chicago.

That was followed by Vernon Rudolph founding Krispy Kreme. His original intention was to make the doughnuts and sell them to local shops, but so many people stopped at his bakery because it smelled so good he cut a hole in the wall and started selling them right then and there. Dunkin' would come along ten years later, according to Wikipedia.

My friends that is your quick incomplete doughnut history lesson for National Donut Day.  Have a jelly; after all, it is a fruit today only, and if anyone wants to fight you about it, tell 'em Missouri's Department of Health and Senior Services says it is.

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