Posts Tagged ‘Literature’

Happy Birthday, Washington Irving

Saturday, April 3rd, 2010

Born 227 years ago, April 3, 1783 and died November 28, 1859. Author of noted works like The Legend of Sleepy Hollow and Rip Van Winkle.

And, no doubt, you are asking yourself, “Why the heck do we care about Washington Irving on a site devoted to doughnuts?”

A very good question and the answer lies in his History of New York. Written  and published in 1809, it contains two of the earliest known recorded usages of the word “doughnut” in literature:

Sometimes the table was graced with immense apple-pies, or saucers full of preserved peaches and pears; but it was always sure to boast an enormas dish of balls of sweetened dough, fried in hog’s fat, and called doughnuts, or olykoeks – a delicious kind of cake – at present scarce known in this city, except in genuine Dutch families.


Every love-sick maiden fondly crammed the pockets of her hero with gingerbread and doughnuts; many a copper ring was exchanged, and crooked sixpence broken, in a pledge of eternal constancy: and there remain extant to this day some love verses written on that occasion, sufficiently crabbed and incomprehensible to confound the whole universe.

So, Happy Birthday Washington Irving! And thank you…