Jacket Image

Enlarge Image

197 × 120 × 19 mm
176 pages
52 illustrations, 39 in colour
01 Oct 2015

Doughnut A Global History Heather Delancey Hunwick

• Washington Irving wrote in 1809 that oly koeks, or doughnuts, were served by Dutch families in New York

• The ring only became the dominant shape of the American doughnut in the twentieth century; before that, twists, balls and discs were popular

• Homer Simpson once sold his soul to the Devil for the price of one doughnut

• A Pennsylvania Dutch speciality is coffeebrockle, ‘coffee soup’ made by breaking up doughnuts into hot coffee

• Indonesians are partial to a potato doughnut, the donat kentang

• Medieval German Krapfen were filled with apples, pears and cherries boiled to a stiff paste or dried whole

includes a selection of recipes

Doughnuts evoke remarkably strong feelings: fond memories of local bakeries, fairs, festivals and community. Yet they are also one of the few iconic foods forced to bear complex, often conflicting cultural messages: beloved comfort food for many, they are the Devil’s fare for others. This book reveals the surprisingly rich culinary and social history of this familiar food. Doughnut: A Global History takes the reader on a fast-paced journey from pre-history through ancient Egypt, Rome and the Arab world, following the doughnut’s diffusion through medieval Europe and into the New World. The fascinating story follows the fortunes of the doughnut from the open hearth to today’s familiar branded favourites, and finally to a new renaissance of delectable artisanal creations.

  Heather Delancey Hunwick’s meticulously researched and highly entertaining book brings intriguing new perspectives on the doughnut’s impact on arts and culture, including the many fads, fashions and controversies they have endured.

‘What defines a doughnut? Its not such an easy question to answer. Must a doughnut be deep-fried or baked to truly be a doughnut? (answer: Deep-frying is as essential to the doughnut as it is to the French fry.) What sort of dough or batter must be used to make it a doughnut? Must a doughnut have a particular shape to qualify as a doughnut? And whats with the hole? . . . Hunwick explores the history and evolution of doughnuts, their role in pivotal historical events from European colonization of the Americas to the trenches of World War I. They continue to play a role today: a fascinating chapter explores The Imperial Doughnut, and the corporate machinations which have given rise to todays doughnut empires . . . Finally, Hunwick considers the cultural politics of the doughnut: from the novels of Harriet Beecher Stowe and the work of Marcel Proust, to the iconic Homer Simpson.’ — Popmatters

Show all

Heather Delancey Hunwick is a food consultant and researcher. Born in Canada, she now lives in Sydney, Australia.

1. The Doughnut Defined

2. The Historical Doughnut

3. The American Doughnut

4. The Imperial Doughnut

5. The Cultural Doughnut



Select Bibliography

Websites and Associations


Photo Acknowledgements