The doughnut's strange beginning


Cinnamon Diamonds is a fictional yet "largely true" story by A story to tell... client Mark Piper.

It tells of the stormy night in 1847 aboard the Felix Lighter when Hanson Gregory created the doughnut as we know it. Although accounts differ, Gregory is credited with coming up with the idea of putting a hole in the doughnut. At this stage they were called 'fried cakes' or 'twisters' and were cut in the shape of diamonds. They would usually be nicely cooked around the edges, but presented raw belly-aching dough in the centre.

As the tale goes, inspiration hit when Gregory saw the lid of the ship's tin pepper box at just the right moment. When asked if he was pleased, he replied:

"Was Columbus pleased? No more greasy sinkers, no more indigestion, just well done fried-through doughnuts."

100 years ago The Washington Post published an interview with Gregory, who was 85 and resided at Sailor's Snug Harbour, then a home for aged sailors.

Mark published his revised and extended version to celebrate the 100th anniversary of the article, which forms the basis of the story. It was originally published in a compilation A History of Strange Beginnings by Kavanagh Press.

It has ignited peoples' imaginations and reached the top 20 best seller list on Kobo for Historical Fiction and the top 50 for Amazon short stories as part of America's National Doughnut Day celebrations. But also a quiet thrill for Mark was appearing alongside two of his favourite authors Conn Iggulden and Robert Harris on Kobo.

"Motivation doesn't come much better than that" wrote Mark in an email to us.