Sweet dough fried in hot oil is irresistible–cholesterol and fat be damned. It’s hard to find anyone who dislikes them, even New York City’s trans-fat-fighting Mayor Bloomberg. One day after proposing the New York City soda ban the Mayor proclaimed June 1, 2012, “NYC Donut Day.”
The contemporary hole-in-the-center “torus”-shaped donut emerged in the second half of the 19th century, says Paul R. Mullins, Department Chair of Anthropology at Indiana University-Purdue University. Bakers realized that a hollow center made for even frying. Mass-market chains like Winchell’s Donuts, Dunkin’ Donuts, and later, Krispy Kreme proliferated in the 1950s and 60s making donuts widely available.
Then everything changed. Things started getting bolder, weirder. San Jose’s Psycho Donuts created French-fry-shaped donuts served with cups of raspberry jelly and Bavarian cream for dipping. The “Luther Burger” debuted, a bacon-cheese burger sandwiched between two glazed donuts. Paula Deen’s version axed the cheese, kept the bacon and donuts, and added a fried egg. This spring, Dunkin Donuts announced that it would introduce a shredded pork donut to the Chinese market.
Before getting grossed out, consider that most donuts-gone-wild shops offer maple-bacon donuts and they’re always big sellers. One man’s shredded pork is another’s smoky bacon.