The Bite Heard Round The World

The Bite Heard Round The World

From the beginning of donut history, donuts have been interpreted and influential in so many ways. Today, these delicious fried cakes of dough are enjoyed by many all across the world.

There are many kinds of donuts all over the world, each just as delicious as the next. The creation of the donut has inspired so many other desserts and pastries in different cultures. Over time, the definition of a donut has loosened and many variations of the tasty snack have appeared all over the world.

The world of donuts is waiting to be explored. Here are just some of the options out there:


Beignets are fried raised pieces of yeast dough usually in a square shape. They are a familiar favorite because they are a New Orleans specialty. In 1986 beignets became the Louisiana State Donut. Louisiana is known for its heavily inspired creole cooking and french influence. In the 18th century the tradition of beignets was brought to Louisiana by french colonists. The next time you’re in France or New Orleans, be sure to try a beignet and check it off your international donut checklist.


Malasadas are yeast-leavened fried dough enriched with eggs, butter, and milk. They are often rolled in sugar and sometimes filled with custard or other fillings. Malasadas are a specialty from the Portuguese settled island São Miguel. Malasadas were brought to Hawaii by Portuguese immigrants working in the sugar and pineapple industries and have stuck around as a staple islander sweet ever since.


Germany’s take on donuts is called Krapfen. They are sweet or savory fried dough that are smaller than the average American donut. They are often filled with a fruit flavored jam or jelly, but the original filled krapfen donuts were filled with savory flavors like meat, fish, mushrooms, or cheese because the price of sugar was very high in 16th century Germany.


 A bombolone is an Italian filled donut that gets its name from its “bomb-like” shape. Its creation was inspired by the krapfen. These small yeasted donuts can be filled with anything; chocolate, marmalade, custard, or even fruit. Traditional Tuscan bomboloni are made with less dough. fried at a lower temperature, and have no filling, though variations with filling and holes in the center are still referred to as bomboloni.


Paczki are Polish donuts. They are typically filled with a jelly filling, but some are made without filling and rolled in granulated sugar. Paczki have a rich dough that can be denser and heavier than yeast donuts. They are wildly popular to eat before fasting events such as Lent.


Zeppole are another Italian donut inspired delicacy. It is similar to a fritter, but its dough is twisted into a coil and topped with a variety of flavorful toppings. Zeppole are adored in southern Italy because of the heavy role they play in the festival of St. Joseph from Enna, Sicily. It is also known as zalābiyya, meaning soft dough, in Arabic.


Loukoumades are deep fried balls of dough seasoned with honey and spices that are rumored to have an origin dating back to the first Olympic Games in Ancient Greece around 776 BC. They have become popular in Cyprus, Turkey, and are often found in Mediterranean and Asian cuisines.

Yóu Tiáo

Yóu Tiáo is also known as a Chinese cruller. It is the shape of a breadstick, similar to that of an eclair or a churro. It is often paired with tofu soup or rice porridge. Yóu Tiáo is usually used as an accompaniment to other breakfast dishes, and is best eaten immediately after being fried. They are more salty than sweet, the sweeter version is called a tang gao.

Mochi Donuts

Mochi donuts are yeast free and gluten free. They use matcha powder to create a uniquely chewy texture. They are either served as balls or in a beaded ring shape known as Pon-de-Ring, which is sometimes made from tapioca flour. Mochi donuts are sometimes even eaten unfried. They are a huge hit in Japan and other Asian countries.

There are many more donut variations all around the world including sonhos, smultringers, buñuelos, sufganiyah, berliners, jalebi, balushahi, oliebollen, tulumba, and more. These are just few of the many donut inspired treats available for you to try. So make sure the next time you travel you seek out the best donut shop and check each country’s donut specialty off your bucket list.