I think Homer Simpson said it best when he said, "Mmmmmmm, donuts." The sweet treat has become a breakfast staple all over the country, and around the world, including here in the Tri-State where we have several bakeries whipping up hundreds, if not thousands of them every day for those of us who want to start our days on a sweet foot.

History of the Donut

According to a March 1998 article by David A. Taylor for Smithsonian Magazine, the has a bit of a "convoluted past," meaning no one really knows who gets the credit for inventing it. Taylor says archeologists have found what appear to be "fossilized bits" of fried dough in prehistoric Native American sites, which I'm guessing weren't topped with sprinkles. He goes on to say a New England woman by the name of Elizabeth Gregory gets much of the credit for inventing the donut in the mid-19th century. Her son was a ship captain and she would make them for him and his crew before they set sail using nutmeg, cinnamon, and lemon rind from his cargo. She would also include hazelnuts or walnuts in the center, hence the name, doughnuts.

Donut or Doughnut?

Both words are pronounced the same way and refer to the same thing. How you spell it apparently depends on where you live. According to Wide Open Eats, citing the Oxford English Dictionary, "doughnut" is how it is spelled in British English. We Americans prefer to spell it like it sounds, without the "ugh" in the middle. Both are recognized as proper spellings.

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Origin of National Donut Day

We can thank the Salvation Army for marking the first Friday of June as the day we celebrate donuts. The day was created in 1938 as a way to honor Salvation Army volunteers who provided the "comfort of home cooking" by delivering donuts to soldiers in World War I and World War II.

National Donut Day Deals in the Evansville Area

Now that you've digested everything you need to know about our favorite breakfast treat, let's look at where you can get some for free.

  • Donut BankGet one free donut of your choice free with any purchase while supplies last.
  • 2nd Language (401 NW 2nd St., Evansville): First 50 guests receive a free French Donut
  • Krispy KremeOne free donut of any kind (in-store only)
  • Dunkin'One free donut with any beverage purchase

[Sources: Smithsonian Magazine / Wide Open Eats / Salvation Army]

Evansville Area Breweries

There's nothing better than sitting on the patio and enjoying an ice-cold locally brewed beer. Here's where you can do just that in the Evansville area.

Evansville Area Ice Cream Shops

As the weather warms up, nothing sounds better than ice cream! Here's where to get your delicious sweet tooth fix in the Evansville area.