Tuesday, October 19, 2004

National Donut Month

The smell of doughnuts frying is a killer. We must be hard-wired to react to the frying smell of sugar and dough. Low carb diets be damned! Whenever I go to the Pike Place Market I can't resist getting a half dozen fresh-out-of-the-fryer hot, mini doughnuts. Light and crispy on the outside and soft on the inside when warm and fresh they are simply irresistible.

As the doughnut vendor sprinkled my beauties with cinnamon sugar, she drew my attention to the vintage 1940's sign for "October National Donut Month". Though originally from Holland in the 1600's, doughnuts were popularized during the first World War in 1917 when Salvation Army "lassies" served up the treat to tired, hungry and wet soldiers fighting in France. According to Salvation Army legend, the donuts were fried, seven at a time in a soldiers steel helmet on an 18-inch stove. Later, a seven pound shell fitted with a one-pound shell was used to cut out the donut holes.

Following the war, returning soldiers requested the virtually unheard of confection and bakeries started to sell them to meet the demand. In 1928 October was named national doughnut month. Since then doughnuts have come to be associated with all sorts of rescue workers; policemen, firemen, the Red Cross, etc. They can also rescue you from hunger pangs while exploring the Pike Place Market. Next time you're at the market, stop by the Daily Dozen Donut Company kiosk, just behind the information/ticket booth. Treat yourself to a dozen or so and you'll see what I mean.