The doughnut (sometimes spelled “donut”) is a hunk of fried sweet dough that tastes one of two ways: amazing and orgasmic; thus, the hole.
Doughnuts have a history as debatable and controversial as the existence of extraterrestrial life and God.
One can perhaps trace the lineage of the doughnut back to the Dutch who - by the 17th century - pretty much mastered all things sweet and heart attack inducing including apple pie, cookies, and cobbler. The Dutch, with their infinite pastry wisdom, took rolls of sweet dough and tossed it in to a vat of bubbling pig fat. The ripple effect of the first piece of sweet dough hitting hot pig fat can still be felt today. The ripples can also be counted on the back of the neck of every Dunkin's Donuts regular customer.
These first Dutch doughnuts were called olykoeks, which means Oily Cake in American. Pilgrims from Holland are said to have been the first to transport these Oily Cakes to America where they opened up the first Dunkin' Donuts in Paramus, New Jersey.
All of this is negated when you take in to account the fact that archeologists have discovered prehistoric Indian doughnut burial grounds within the Southwestern United States. One may be totally right in arguing that doughnuts were the secret, but very real reason for Manifest Destiny.
The history of the hole in the doughnut seems like it should be an easy one. Maybe some dude just stabbed a hole in an oily cake and called it a day? Nope. Not that simple. For some reason it has become a kind of mythical legend with the real answer stolen out of the hands of Indian Jones and shoved in to a large government owned warehouse. As the legend states, there was a kind, loving old lady named Elizabeth Gregory in New England in 1847. Her oily cakes were the shit. But, like, seriously. No joke, man. Fucking delicious. Everyone agreed on this... except her ungrateful prick of a boat captain son, Captain Hanson Crockett Gregory. Captain Gregory hated how the cake would never fully cook in the center.
To combat this, Mrs. Gregory filled the doughnuts with various nuts and spices so the middle would cook faster. Captain Gregory thought adding stuff to the middle was like putting a band aid on a cracked skull, so he had his ship's cook prepare his mother's recipe without the centers, and the presumably wrote letters to his mother saying, "Mmmm! These centers are awesome! You rock, mom!"
There is a slightly different version of this story that acts as a testament to how hard humans work to achieve the ultimate in laziness. In this version, Captain Gregory was having trouble steering the ship while simultaneously eating his tasty pastry. Out of pure necessity, he stabbed the cake through one of the steering wheel handles to hold his treat in place. Once he recovered from the 18 hour coma that comes along with getting kicked in the face by brilliance, he demanded that his cook make every cake from then on with a hole in the center for easy steering wheel mounting. In the same vein, Twinkies are cylindrical because Teddy Roosevelt thought his ass was the best place to keep his snacks while hunting.
Since this glorious day, doughnuts have been a staple of not only American life, but of life around the world.
Churro: A ribbed tube of fried dough coated with granulated sugar. Churros can be found in Spain, Mexico and various Spanish speaking countries like Miami, Florida.
Beignet: A square doughnut with no hole and covered in powdered sugar to give it that distinct white flag look that France, its country of origin, loves so much.
Zeppole: This Italian pastry is covered in sugar and usually filled with a cream. It can also be made of bread dough and filled with anchovy.
Langos: Hailing from Hungary, this doughnut -like concoction usually accompanies the main course of a meal. It's like an elephant ear that has been rubbed with garlic.
Forged in the fires of Hell, the Luther is a bacon cheese burger that replaces the bun with glazed doughnuts. The doughnuts may be grilled in some cases. A variation of the burger replaces the cheese with a fried egg. Either way, It is the pinnacle of all that is unholy, which is why it's so damn good.
Rumor has it that the Luther was the creation of R&B singer Luther Vandross. The Luther gained popularity after a 2006 episode of the Adult Swim program The Boondocks in which the character Robert "Granddad" Freemen opens a restaurant centered on the burger.