Donuts around the world

“The earliest occurrence of the word (doughnut) is in the “History of New York” by Washington Irving (1809). He had to define the word, so we can assume that it was not a widely known dish at the time, at least to his audience. And, interestingly, he defines doughnuts as “balls of sweetened dough, fried in hog’s fat”. This suggests that doughnuts were not named after knots or nuts and bolts, but instead after nuts like walnuts or pecans. They were balls of dough that, when fried to a deep golden brown, resembled nuts. Doughnuts only took their torus shape to overcome a problem inherent in balls of dough – uncooked centers. Removing the centers ensured that the doughnuts would be cooked throughout.”


So, as mentioned, Yiddish words for penis continues to be my most viewed blog entry.  I was going to do a follow up:  Penises (or is it Penii?) aroung the world. But, that seemed a bit too….phallic.  I tried to come up with something more universal.  Dumplings came to mind.  You know:  knishes, perogi, kreplach, potstickers, raviolis, etc. But that was too obvious.  I though deeper, more fried…and came up with donuts.  Here are some highlights from Wiki:




  • Bolivia – Buñuelos are a round fry bread.
  • Brazil – Doughnuts are referred to as Sonho, meaning dream.
  • Cameroon – Puffpuff.
  • Canada – Canadian doughnuts are usually similar to those in the United States. Other Canadian variants include the BeaverTail, Cruller,Dutchie, Timbits, Potato flour doughnuts and Newfoundland’s Toutin. Maple bars – bar doughnuts with maple-syrup-flavored icing—are also occasionally found in the US, especially in neighboring states, such as Ohio, Wisconsin and Michigan.
  • Denmark – The “Berliner” without a hole is available in bakeries across the country and are called Berliner like in Germany. Surprisingly, not “Danish”
  • Finland – Munkki (without a hole), Donitsi (with a hole)
  • France – Beignets 
  • Ghana – Bofrot
  • Greece – Loukoumathes. Sounds like math and comes in two types, a crispy one shaped like the number 8, and a larger, softer one shaped like the number 0.
  • Iceland – Kleinuhringir,
  • Indonesia – Donat Kentang is known as an Indonesian style fried mashed potato doughnut; a fritter that comes in ring shape and is made from combination of flour and mashed potatoes, coated in powder sugar or icing sugar.
  • Ireland – Taoschno.
  • Israel – Sufganiyah (סופגניה, plural Sufganyot), like the German Berliner, jelly doughnuts, Boston cream doughnut, the Polish pączki, or the Russian ponchik, are fried, pierced and injected with jelly or custard, and then topped with powdered sugar or frosting. They have become a traditional Hanukkah food in recent decades. Traditionally they are filled with red jelly and topped with sugar icing. However, many other varieties exist, the more expensive ones being filled with dulce de leche.
  • Italy – Struffoli, Pignolata, Guanti, (Assisi) Bastoncello, (Calabria) Scaddateddi, Zeppole Spignesi, Chiacchiere, Lattughe (this may not be classifiable as doughnut, but it is fried pastry, in a Lettuce” style) Cenci, Donzelle, Frappe, Sfrappole, Bugie, Crostoli, Frittelle, Ciambelli (Cocullo, Abruzzi) and Bomboloni.
  • Mexico – Buñuelo, Churro, Sopapilla. The Mexican Donas are very similar to doughnuts including in the name; the dona is a fried-dough pastry-based snack, commonly coated withcinnamon sugar or granulated sugar, or dipped in chocolate.
  • New Zealand – Cream-filled doughnut.
  • Nigeria – Puffpuff, Chin chin.
  • Norway – Hjorte Bakkels, Futimonbuckles, Fattigmann Bakkels, Smultring.
  • Poland – Pączki, round jam-filled doughnuts. 
  • Portugal – Filhós, Malasadas.
  • Puerto Rico – Quesitos (filled with sweet cheese).
  • Spain – Churros, Porras, Chimeneas, Orange Roscos, Wine Roscos, Roscos de anis, Rosquillas de Ledesma, buñuelos, bimuelos, birmuelos, bermuelos, burmuelos, bunyols,Rosquillas listas de san Isidro, rosquito tonto, rosquilla tonta.
  • UK – Similar to North American doughnuts, but traditionally topped with granulated sugar rather than powdered sugar or glaze. In some parts of Scotland, ring doughnuts are referred to as Doughrings, with the doughnut moniker being reserved exclusively for the nut-shaped variety. Glazed, twisted rope-shaped doughnuts are known as “Yum-yums”. It is also possible to buy fudge doughnuts in certain regions of Scotland. In some parts of Northern Ireland, ring doughnuts are referred to as “gravy rings” due to their being cooked in oil, itself colloquially known as “gravy”. Jam doughnuts are round in shape, coated in granulated sugar and have a filling of strawberry or raspberry jam.
  • United States of America – In the US, doughnuts exist in cake, raised and piped varieties and in many different shapes, including Crullers (twisted piped bars), Vanities, Comfits, Fritters(irregularly shaped “dropped” doughnuts), Long Johns (bars with or without filling), Boston cream doughnuts, Potato doughnuts, Sour cream doughnuts, Cider doughnuts, Simball,Olicook, Olykoecks, Bear claws (although many varieties are fruit-filled cake rather than doughnut), Elephant Ears, Yum yums, Fasnachts, Frying Saucers, Bear sign (cowboy slang for ring doughnuts), Brown Bobby (a significant contingent in the ‘doughnut shape debate’ because this variety is (uniquely?) a ‘triangular toroid’). Native Americans have been known to lay claim to the invention of the doughnut with Johnnycakes, though many varieties of Johnnycake are neither sweet nor doughnut-shaped. Bar-shaped doughnuts are known as “bars” or Long Johns, particularly maple bars with maple-flavored icing that sometimes incorporate caramelized bacon.
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