Legend has it that Hanson Gregory, a native of Camden, Maine, conceived the idea of the ring doughnut at the tender age of 16 while aboard a trading ship.
Young Hanson didn’t like the way the fried cakes served on the ship were wonderful on the edges but soggy and greasy in the middle.
At first he took a strip of dough and tried to make it into a circle. Then, using the lid to a tin of pepper, he punched a hole in a glob of dough. After frying it up, he found it to be the finest he’d ever tasted.
He shared his inspiration with his dear mother, and she began to send them to Rockland, where the idea continued to spread to bakeries far and wide.
Thank you Mr. Gregory, for brightening up office break rooms and Sunday school classes and giving us something to dunk in our coffee.
Thank you for tender yeast doughnuts covered in a light glaze. Thank you for cake donuts that melt in your mouth. Thank you for making room in the middle to put custard and cream and jelly. Thank you for a place to spread rich, gooey frosting.
Thank you for early mornings at the Dixie Cream with my mom before a long day of running errands. Thank you for grocery store bribes. Thank you for my first cup of coffee. Thank you for the Dunkin’ Donuts just off campus. Thank you for my first taste of Krispy Kreme down south.
At some point, someone pointed out to me that one doughnut comprises your entire recommended fat allowance for the day. So as beautiful and as wonderful as they are, they have become less a part of my life. I still cherish the memories, and delight in an occasional cream-filled, chocolate-frosted long john. Or a glazed blueberry cake doughnut. Or a chocolate frosted cinnamon roll with chopped nuts on top. Mmmmm.
Okay, where’s my husband? He’s supposed to be here by now with the doughnuts!
Sources: encarta.msn.com; allthingsmaine.blogspot.com