For the Love of Doughnuts
Donuts, is there anything they can’t do?
- Homer J. Simpson
Sidewalk is celebrating National Doughnut Day! To honor these tasty gems, we've created Sidewalks that feature doughnuts for you to enjoy while exploring two of San Francisco's most iconic neighborhoods, but more on that later.
Whether you spell it “donut” or “doughnut,” the first Friday of every June is National Doughnut Day: 86,400 seconds of the year devoted to exalting and celebrating the sweetened, deep-fried, ring of goodness. It’s a food so good that there really isn’t a bad time of the day for one.
I’m usually a skeptic about these types of National fill-in-the-blank Days, not that I’m above celebrating them, but because they seem like a sly marketer’s invention. Do we really need a national day for creme brulee (July 27)? Probably. Moldy cheese (October 9)? Probably not. Hot pastrami sandwiches (January 14)? Absolutely. Admittedly, there are three other days of tribute to doughnuts: International Jelly-Filled Doughnut Day (June 8); National Cream-Filled Doughnut Day (September 14); Buy A Doughnut Day (October 30).
Regardless, National Doughnut Day on June 2, 2017 has a legitimate provenance. The background story starts in World War I, when The Salvation Army set up a series of huts near the front lines in Europe to support the troops. The female staffers provided emotional support and helped mend clothes, distribute mail supplies and serve baked goods. The employees came to be nicknamed “Doughnut Lassies,” after their most popular contribution.
National Doughnut Day began in 1938 when the Chicago-branch of The Salvation Army began a fundraiser to both help the needy withstand the Great Depression and to honor the Doughnut Lassies of WWI. The commemoration continues decades later at several Salvation Army branches across the US. To check out pictures of the Doughnut Lassies and donate to The Salvation Army, here’s the place to go.
Doughnuts not only have historical significance, but they have personal importance too. They are and have always been my favorite food (yes, doughnuts count as a food). It goes way back to when I was a little kid living Southern California. Every Sunday morning, I would throw on my Anaheim Angels hat and my dad, my sister, and I would head out for a walk to get doughnuts at the Winchell’s on W. Chapman Ave (it’s still there today). This was our ritual. It was time for my mom to enjoy some well deserved peace and quiet. But, it was also a special time for me to spend some time hanging out with my dad. To this day, doughnuts always make me think about my dad (and how I still sneak a few doughnut holes on my walk home from the doughnut shop).
Back to today, if you love doughnuts and want to celebrate their rich history and flawless flavor we've got you covered. To help in honoring doughnuts, we've created two Sidewalks that are a tribute to doughnuts in the Marina and the Mission. We will donate all tips earned on these Sidewalks to the Salvation Army. Download the app or click on the links below to get a preview of the Sidewalks.