In an effort to become just a little bit more cop-friendly, I have decided to answer today a question which may have occurred to some curious members of the law enforcement community: “How was the doughnut hole invented?”
According to Smithsonian Magazine, in the mid-19th century, Elizabeth Gregory was a New England ship captain’s mother who made a deep-fried dough that included her son’s spice cargo of nutmeg and cinnamon, along with lemon rind. Some say she made it so her son and his crew could store a pastry on long voyages to help ward off scurvy and colds. Mrs. Gregory put hazelnuts or walnuts in the center, where the dough usually did not cook through, and in a literal-minded way she called them doughnuts.
Her son always claimed credit for putting the hole in the doughnut.
Some doughnut historians claim that Captain Gregory first came up with the idea to eliminate the uncooked centers. Cynical historians say that Gregory did it to stint on ingredients; others that he thought the hole might make the whole easier to digest. Still others say that he gave the doughnut its shape when, needing to keep both hands on the wheel in a storm, he skewered one of his mom’s doughnuts on a spoke of his ship’s wheel.
In an interview with the Boston Post at the turn of the century, Captain Gregory recalled the moment 50 years before: using the top of a round tin pepper box, he said, he cut into the middle of a doughnut “the first doughnut hole ever seen by mortal eyes.”
86° and Rain