What’s a Spudnut?
A. A new type of vegan drink composed in part of white wine
B. A donut made out of potatoes
C. The nickname for the nuts that Jeff Bezos took on board with him on the first “consumer” space flight
D. An ancient grain commonly grown on the plains in Russia
The original spudnut, a potato-based donut, was created by American drug store clerk, Bob Pelton. After returning home from service in the navy in the 1930s, Pelton was inspired by German, fastnachts, yeast-raised fritters also made from mashed potatoes. As Dick and Mac McDonald were opening the first McDonald’s restaurant in 1940, Bob and his brother Al started the first spudnut shop in Salt Lake City. On Halloween, the Peltons handed out their doughnuts to trick-or-treaters. Salt Lake City resident, David Fisher, fondly recalled in an interview, “We would always take a couple of different Halloween masks with us so we could go back two or three times. Spudnuts were better than a crummy candy bar.” By the 1950s, 350 spudnuts stores were open across America. By 1964, spudnut franchises were selling over 400,000 donuts a day.