If you're anything like me—and by "me," I mean a sweets-obsessed mother of two who once spent an entire day exploring the various doughnut shops around my home of Los Angeles, and even drove through a doughnut-shaped building called The Donut Hole to score that most delicious of desserts—then you are more than invested in today's National Doughnut Day.
In fact, if you're really like me, the first Friday of every June is always circled on your calendar. Devising a plan to secure every free doughnut in town on that most holey of holidays is not too crazy for you. Forcing your husband to take your kids to school just so you can go buy a dozen "for the office" is totally normal.
I know how it goes. I totally feel you. You probably already know what I'm going to say. (Doughnut!)
But for those of you who aren't like me, those of you who casually accept that once-in-a-while extra doughnut that someone happens to offer you, you might not know all of these cool facts about doughnuts and the tastiest national holiday on the books.
1. National Doughnut Day is an actual thing. And it's inspiring.
The Salvation Army launched the day during the Great Depression as a way to raise money and awareness for their social service programs. The day was inspired by Salvation Army members who distributed coffee and doughnuts to American soldiers who were fighting in the trenches in France during World War I.
2. More than 10 billion doughnuts are made every year.
Yes, that's a lot of doughnuts. In fact, considering there are roughly 321 million people in the United States, according to the U.S. Census, that means that each of us eats just over 31 doughnuts per year—give or take. *Ahem*
3. You can get free doughnuts today.
Thanks to doughnut hubs Krispy Kreme and Dunkin' Donuts, hundreds of thousands of people (we're guessing) will be lining up to make sure they fulfill their yearly doughnut quota (see above). On National Doughnut Day, Krispy Kreme will offer one free doughnut per customer, no questions asked. Dunkin' Donuts, however, requires you to first purchase a beverage before you get your tasty treat. (That's OK. We love coffee, too.)
4. Doughnuts originated in the Netherlands.
And they were called "olykoeks," or oily cakes back in the 1800s. We're betting fewer Americans—particularly health-conscious Angelenos—would willingly buy something called an "oily cake." "Doughnut" sounds much better.
5. The first doughnut machine was invented in New York City.
Russian refugee Adolph Levitt created what could be the 20th century's most important invention in 1920.
6. Apparently, Canada is the country with the most doughnut shops per capita.
7. Someone named Eric "Badlands" Booker ate 49 glazed doughnuts in eight minutes—and nailed the Guinness World Record.
Challenge accepted! (Just kidding. You can keep that honor, "Badlands.")
8. The largest doughnut made in America weighed 1.7 tons (aka, a Ford Focus).
That granddaddy of doughnuts was also 16 feet in diameter. Wonder if "Badlands" was there for that unveiling?
9. Gluten-free doughnuts exist.
I know it sounds like an oxymoron, but genius pastry chefs have made the doughnut even more inclusive. Places like Fonuts (pronounced "foe-nuts") in L.A. and Erin McKenna's Bakery in New York are happy to accommodate those who disdain the wheat protein.