Tuesday, June 2, 2009

A Historical Note on the Donut

“Ether and donuts are a deadly combination.”
-Hunter S. Thompson

Aside from the early pastries of the Amish, the modern donut (not to be confused with the doughnut) got its start in Philadelphia. In 1820 the heavily Quaker Philadelphia City Center was engaging in a general boycott of Amish goods and services. John McHugh, a Quaker and small business owner, was fond of traveling West to Pottsville for the country setting and fine Amish pastries. The sugar sprinkled baked doughnut was one of John’s favorites. John soon decided that a portable pastry would sell well in the burgeoning banking district of Chestnut Avenue. John set up shop and was unsuccessful at first selling Amish baked doughnuts. He soon revised his recipe to lighter dough and instead of baking the pastry, deep fried it. The intoxicating smell fell over Chestnut Avenue and lines started forming in front of his pastry shop. Knowing that if he advertised his pastry as a “doughnut,” anti-Amish patrons would not eat his creation. So the sign went up on his shop, “McHugh’s Do-nuts.”

1 comment:

  1. you left out the saddest part, that the shop was bought by dunkin donuts, i'm not sure if it was the first one, maybe look into that... http://philadelphia.citysearch.com/profile/8956819/philadelphia_pa/dunkin_donuts.html