Today is National Jelly Doughnut Day!
Despite its simple appearance, Jelly Doughnuts have a surprisingly rich history in many countries. The first known recipe, according to historian Gil Marks, is found in the 1532 German cookbook, Kuchenmeisterei. The recipe instructed you to pour jam in between two slices of bread and deep fry them in a tub of lard. The result was an instant success in bakeries across Germany.
Originally known as Gefullte Krapfen, the pastry spread throughout Europe over the century. Often other fillings were used instead of the iconic jelly it held. Sugar and jelly were scarce until Caribbean sugar plantations made the ingredients more widely available. Combined with french inventor, Denis Papin, inventing powdered gelatin in 1682, jelly became easier to produce. These significant events made jelly doughnuts even more popular. But did you know that’s only one story of how they came to be?
In Israeli folklore, jelly doughnuts go back to the Earth’s early days. Adam and Eve were commanded to leave the Garden of Eden. They were understandably upset for a time afterwards. God saw how upset they were and created Sufganiyah, which are jelly doughnuts fried in oil instead of lard.
Sufganiyah is most commonly consumed during Hannukah. It’s believed Polish-Jewish immigrants brought the tasty treat over to Israel, cementing the pastry into Israeli culture forever.
On the day when the sun remains above the horizon for more than twenty-four hours it’s called Polar Night. In Tromso, Norway they eat jelly doughnuts to celebrate the return of the sun at the end of Polar Night. They call their jelly doughnuts Solbolle and typically fill them with custard.
In the United States, immigrants who were polish brought over their version of jelly doughnuts. They’re called Paczki and it has the cutest translation. It’s literal meaning is “little package”. The dessert was brought around 1910 and introduced as a Mardi Gras delicacy. You can often find polish bakeries selling the jelly doughnuts during the festival.
The popular doughnuts also were given a reference by United State’s President John F. Kennedy. During an infamous address to people in Berlin, the american leader stated, “Ich bin ein Berliner.” Meaning “I am a Berliner” to support the people. However, Berliner is another word for jelly doughnuts in Germany. German bakeries sold out of their jam filled pastries for the following weeks.
Victoria, Australia particularly delights in jelly doughnuts. It’s often found at fairs and markets. Food trucks serving the dessert are commonly sold out of them. While most people prefer their jelly doughnuts a little warm, Australians serve them piping hot. Many tourists eat them without that piece of knowledge and burn their tongues because of how hot the jam is!
However, you choose to celebrate National Jelly Doughnut Day, I hope you all have a wonderful day commemorating this delectable dessert. Thank you for reading this article! If you’d like to read more about trending food topics or find recipes to fuel your summer, be sure to subscribe below. And let me know in the comments how you plan to observe this delicious holiday!
Hi, my name is Adah! Thanks for stopping by! Growing up, my grandma taught me so many recipes and tips for cooking in the kitchen. I’m so excited to share those things with all of you. You can find me on Instagram and Tiktok @shmaduh if you want to see more of my content.