Picks and Pans Review: A the Donut Book

UPDATED 02/08/1988 at 01:00 AM EST Originally published 02/08/1988 at 01:00 AM EST

by Sally Levitt Steinberg

As cookbooks go, this one is lacking. It has no recipe for the basic yeast-raised donut and includes a recipe for the French beignet with apricot sauce that doesn't mention apricots. It does have a recipe for a peanut butter donut sandwich, though. And as a trivia-memorabilia album, it is a joy. There are pictures of Dwight Eisenhower, Joan Crawford and Gary Hart gobbling donuts. There is the 1941 ad for "Dr. J. Howard Crum's Famous Donut Reducing Diet," which boasted the donut's "constant caloric content." A Peanuts strip shows Snoopy pondering the niceties of eating jelly donuts. Steinberg, granddaughter of the do-nut-making machine's inventor, admits that "nobody knows who made the first donut or who named it the donut or...where it got its hole." To the pessimist this might suggest despair. To the donut connoisseur, however, it suggests only the need for further research, starting with a weighty chocolate-covered specimen, still warm from the oven. (Knopf, paper, $16.95)

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