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November 07, 2011
PETER: Say, where did you learn to dunk, in finishing school?
ELLIE: [indignantly] Aw, now, don't you start telling me I shouldn't dunk.
PETER: Of course you shouldn't. You don't know how to do it. Dunking's an art. Don't let it soak so long. A dip and — plop, into your mouth. If you let it soak so long, it'll get soft and fall off. It's all a matter of timing.
Connoisseurs of the dunk and terrific movies recognize Clark Gable teaching spoiled runaway heiress Claudette Colbert the finer arts of dunking in “It Happened One Night.”
Actually, rumor has it that dunking donuts first became a trend when actress Mae Murray accidentally dropped a donut in her coffee one day at Lindy's on Broadway.
The first written reference to “doughnut,” a small, fried ring of sweet, leavened dough, comes from Washington Irving’s 1809 "History of New York," where he writes of “balls of sweetened dough, fried in hog’s fat, and called doughnuts, or olykoeks.”
Ah, but the hole is a different story.
In 1847, the story goes, 16-year-old American Gregory Hanson created the hole playing around with his mother's dough using the top of a round tin pepper container to punch the holes.
Lo and behold the dough cooked evenly and thus the hole was born.
You can probably poke some holes in this theory, but it sounds silly enough to be plausible.
So doughnut or donut?
The first mention of the alternate spelling appears in “Peck’s Bad Boy And His Pa,” a 1900 story by George W. Peck, where the phrase “Dollars to donuts" was born.
And I’ll bet you dollars to donuts you probably didn't know that.
Today, with more donut varieties you can count, filled or otherwise, I would submit for denizens of the dunk that the simple old fashioned is definitely the best dunk.
Then that may be fighting words to some.