It's National Doughnut Day! Here Are Some Finger-Lickin Facts About Your Coffee's Favorite Mate

June 2 is National Doughnut Day (or, "Donut" Day, if you fancy). The holiday is annually celebrated on the first Friday in June, and it gives us another excuse to indulge in one of our favorite treats. 

And even though doughnuts aren't up there on the health scale with spinach and kale, there's no denying the deliciousness that is the sweet, sticky and sometimes savory treat. Likewise, the history of "National Doughnut Day" quite rich, unlike many food holidays that are usually just marketing gimmicks, and its origin dates back to World War I.

  • That's right, although National Doughnut Day wasn’t officially born until the Great Depression, when the U.S. entered the war in 1917, 250 Salvation Army volunteers headed to France to pass out doughnuts. These volunteers were nicknamed “donut lassies.”
    • As notes, the women who crafted the treats didn’t have rolling pins, so they used their hands and wine bottles to shape the treats. They also had to use a knife to cut the dough into strips and hand-twist them into crullers.

Doughnuts began turning into donuts in the early 1900s. 

  • While d-o-u-g-h-n-u-t is the proper spelling of the treat, the first known use of “donut” instead of “doughnut” came in 1900s. By the 50s, when Dunkin’ Donuts was established in Massachusetts, it still wasn’t everywhere. But not that “America runs on Dunkin,'” we even spell doughnut as “donut” more often. After all, there are now more than 11,000 Dunkin’ Donuts in the world.

In 2014, Krispy Keme UK created the world's most expensive doughnut, filled with Dom Pérignon jelly and iced in a passion fruit glaze.  

  • The doughnut was placed on a handmade lotus flower carved from Belgian white chocolate and dusted with edible, 23 karat gold.  A 24 karat gold leaf and edible diamonds brought the cost of the doughnut to £1,000

Over 10 billion doughnuts are produced in the United States each year.

  • Needless to say, Americans eat a LOT of doughnuts. In fact, more than half of Americans say they "absolutely love" the tasty treats, with Krispy Kream topping the list of the favorite doughnut chains in the country. The top flavor... glazed, followed by Boston cream.

Now, onto the part you probably care about most. Where can you get a freebie today? 

  • Dunkin Donuts: Get a free classic doughnut (while supplies last) with the purchase of any beverage. The offer is good all day at participating Dunkin’ Donuts restaurants nationwide
  • Krispy Kreme: One doughnut of your choice – any doughnut – for free. No purchase necessary
  • Entenmann's: Enter the company’s contest for a chance to win free doughnuts for a year. Feeding America also will get a $1 donation for every entry
  • Wawa: Wawa Rewards members: check your account for a bonus reward for a free doughnut with purchase of a coffee. Go here to find locations new to South Florida.

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