The origin of donuts is linked to several countries and cultures. While the history of the donut in the United States is relatively short, people have been making similar treats in different parts of the world for centuries. For instance, in medieval times, Arabs dipped fried dough into sugary syrup to make some form of a donut. These early forms of donuts were also common in ancient Greece and Rome.
Germans made a savory version of donuts in the 1400s. It is believed that Dutch people introduced the first oily cakes (early form of donuts) in the US in the early 1800s. The fried, oily cakes were quite similar to modern-day donuts except they lacked a hole. In the Netherlands, these cakes were mostly consumed during the Christmas season. No one can pinpoint the exact origin of modern-day donuts but historians credit Hanson Crockett Gregory with creating the modern donut-hole shape.
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