When you think of fried dough, what is the first thing that pops into your mind? For most people, the answer to that is simple: Doughnuts of course!
That being said, it may surprise you to know that fried dough has a far deeper history than doughnuts alone. In fact, it may surprise you even more to know that doughnuts aren’t exactly just the modern day snack that you think they are either!
From as early as the Neolithic age (circa 8,000 to 5,500 BC) fried dough has been used in various forms of cooking. It is known for a fact that the Chinese had developed their own forms of pastry by this time and it was widespread in their culture.
Some of these pastries were even fried, though the earliest forms of fried dough cakes that are known would have to be those that were consumed by Egyptians at around 5,000 BC.
So as you can see, fried dough certainly can be traced through time. From even those prehistoric days dough was being kneaded and fried into various forms of foods, but the earliest actual ‘doughnut’ to be found would have to be those in prehistoric Native American settlements.
That being said, this fact is still under debate and it is theorized that the modern doughnut came from the Roman scriblita that was a type of fried dough popular in Roman society near 200 BC.
Over the years, various changes have been made to the way in which dough has been fried. One of the biggest of these would have to be when deep frying began to gain popularity throughout China and Japan.
Similarly, as sugar became more widely available adding it to various forms of dough created an increasing range of foods that could be created by frying dough, which led to numerous delicacies and sweets being founded from the concept.
Since then, fried dough has quite simply gone from strength to strength. Today, it would be impossible to imagine a world where this form of food didn’t exist, and from doughnuts to various fried pastries – we actually consume a lot more fried dough than most of us realize.
Ranging across various cultures throughout the world, fried dough is one of those truly universal types of food that has sprung up throughout history and cemented its place within it.
So the next time you’re munching on a doughnut, take a minute to appreciate exactly where it came from – as well as the history of fried dough that made it possible to be the tasty snack that it is today.
Who knows – you might even want to try whipping up some foods made of fried dough yourself!