Donut or doughnut?


Every Christmas my French Canadian mother-in-law used to make donuts just like the ones in this photo which we’d all scramble for. It seems that donuts have been a Christmas tradition in many cultures.

“Different takes on doughnuts are to be found on every Italian table during Christmas festivities,” says food writer Eleonora Galasso, whose first cookbook As the Romans Do will be published in 2016. “They’re called different names in each of the 20 regions: roccocò in Naples, cuddureddi in Sicily, torcetti in Piedmont, ciambelline al vino in Rome. In the different shape of these doughnuts you can find both Pagan and Christian symbols.” Katy Salter (The Trendiest Festive Snack in Town).

Although I try to avoid eating donuts because of their fat and calorie content I love donuts. There’s something comforting about them.

 In The Donut Book Sally Levitt Steinberg has this to say:

 The Donut Book by Steinberg, Sally Levitt [Paperback]

(Donuts) are part of American symbol although they are eaten in India as well as Indiana.

They are part of American history.



Here are some interesting doughnut facts:

Archaeologists have found fossilized remains of what seem to be doughnuts from prehistoric American settlements.

America consumes over ten billion doughnuts each year.

Are You Kidding!

For more fun doughnut facts click here. 

Then, there’s the spelling of donut or is it doughnut?

… the mid-1800s when Elizabeth Gregory, the mother of a sea captain out of New England, decided to tuck a few walnuts or hazelnuts in the center of the treats she packed for his voyages. The term “dough nuts” was born.” (David A. Taylor Smithsonian Magazine). 

AND at 

The dictionary-approved spelling for the ring-shaped cake made of dough and fried in fat is doughnut. The shortened donut has been around since the late 1800s, but it wasn’t popularized until the late 20th century, when the successful American doughnut chain Dunkin’ Donuts made it ubiquitous. Today, writers outside the U.S. still favor doughnut by a wide margin. Donut appears about a third of the time in published American writing.

What are your thoughts about donuts? Do you have a love/hate relationship with them?   Do you have them as part of your Christmas tradition?


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59 thoughts on “Donut or doughnut?

  1. I love this donut/doughnut lore, Carol! They’re also part of the Chanukah tradition: jelly donuts are traditional at that time of the year – yum!


  2. Ah yes, Italians do love pastries. But such things are no good for my waistline since I do have a sweet tooth. I gained 20 lbs at the end of a year and a half long relationship with my first ever Italian boyfriend and learned the hard way the true meaning of Deep Fired Oreos. Omg! Who came up with that idea or perhaps the more appropriate question is “why”!?? Those things must have a million calories in every bite!!

    But alas I didn’t learn my lesson as I eventually married an Italian and the food wars were always me trying to cook healthy vs him bringing home junk. Eventually we struck a healthy compromise which I think is key to staying within healthy limits during the holidays.
    Everything in moderation…

    Happy holidays. Enjoy the family traditions ☺


  3. I almost never eat them because they seem like a waste of calories, but I love the homemade ones so much I wouldn’t turn those down. I used to make them with my grandmother.
    Also, doughnuts are ALSO a staple of Hanukkah, so that is interesting that they are part of many Christmas traditions as well.

    Liked by 1 person

      • Great idea, Carol! I just realized that my other big doughnut memory is that my father always used to get a doughnut and cup of coffee at the doughnut shop and sit and chat and watch TV there as part of his work rounds!


  4. Cute article Carol. I haven’t eaten a ‘doughnut’ for years. Thanks for sharing the different reasons for spelling here. I’ve always written it as ‘doughnut’ and shall remain doing so, lol. 🙂


  5. This yummy post can be very dangerous to my ever expanding waist line! But apt for holiday seasons 🙂 Who doesn’t love donuts or doughnuts 🙂


  6. What’s to hate about donuts!! I didn’t know they were a part of Christmas celebration but I could go for that idea. The ones on your post look so tasty. We don’t have them too much here in the UK, the odd shop or stall selling them. There is a new franchise though I’ve heard from my son where gets them occasionally. Wishing you a lovely Crhistams Carol.


  7. I love doughnuts too. Like you, I try to avoid them, although not because one has so much fat or so many calories. After all, sometimes you need to treat yourself. It’s just that if I eat one, I want two more, and that is what I find unacceptable. 😉

    The word ‘donut’ just looks a little strange to me because if said phonetically, it doesn’t sound like what it is. As screwy as the English language is, I prefer the older spelling.


  8. That’s funny! I would spell it donut (and have) but I immediately recognized the “doughnut.” Who cares? They’re delicious no matter how they’re spelled. I just recently found a place called The Hole. They make homemade doughnuts and they are wonderful!


  9. My family has a tradition of making Hjortebakkels (a sort of Norwegian donut–many recipes online) at Christmas every year. I’ve managed to make the recipe vegan (husband and I have been vegan for several years) and that makes the donuts a bit less unhealthy–but they still need to be fried, so…


  10. I loved this post. I have a hate relationship with doughnuts since the time I thought I would surprise my mam by making some. I am sure when she came home to her best pot lying smoking in the back green I succeeded too. Have a lovely Christmas. These doughnuts do look delish x


  11. It is certainly ‘doughnuts’, but here in the UK they aren’t a Christmas tradition-we have rich fruit cakes, iced or un-iced and Christmas puddings-a very rich concoction filled with dried fruit, nuts, brandy etc and extremely delicious!


    • Give me a choice between a slice of fruit cake and a dooughnut and I’ll choose the fruit cake – providing it is home made. About six weeks ago I make my fruit cake and have been sprinkling it with rum every week…of course when I do that I have to take a slice. If I’m not careful it’ll be gone by Christmas!
      Happy holidays to you and your family, Grace.

      Liked by 1 person

  12. How I used to love doughnuts! I remember being about six years old and standing in front of a shop window, watching them cook… And they were the yummiest things on earth! But sadly, I don’t know anywhere that I can get them so deliciously warm and fresh…. And so, like other wonderful things, they have disappeared from my life…


    • Your comment reminds of the saying when one door closes another opens. It also reminded me how if we go back to our childhood homes they always look smaller than how we had imagined them to be. Some things are best kept in our memories. ❤


  13. Thought I was immune to do/ugh/nuts, but was recently served these pillow-shaped members of the family, with créme anglais, and that’s all she’s going to write today.


  14. One additional tidbit: The Salvation Army handed out millions of doughnuts to soldiers during World War I, resulting in the widespread use of the term “doughboys” (although it the term had been used infrequently before that time).


  15. Carol, I am so glad you liked the post which included your books on my post! 🙂
    I love donuts and my grandma made streusel and kuchen, which is usually like coffee cake. I would enjoy sitting down with a cup of coffee and having one of these special holiday (made like your French Canadian mother in law) donuts. Much better than a cookie. 🙂


  16. Doughnuts (sufganiyot in Hebrew) are actually a staple of Chanukkah. Me and the wife visited my mother over the holiday, and we actually got to have some homemade ones 🙂

    As for the spelling, I blame Dunkin’ for messing that up.

    Liked by 1 person

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