April 05, 2013

Donuts: An American Passion by John Edge

Take some dough, fry it, and then douse it in sugar. You now have the donut (doughnut). A favorite breakfast (or anytime) treat of many, the donut can actually be found in many cultures all over the world and by different names. But the concept is the same. Sweet fried dough. And this book is part of a series on American food by Edge. But you don't have to read them in any particular order.

"Donuts" is what you'd expect. It's a book about donuts. There's some history, mentions of different types of donuts by culture or country, and some explorations of famous donut shops. Edge also includes a few recipes for certain types of donuts.

Edge visits a lot of different donut shops, but they seem to mostly be centered on the West Coast. There is a vast majority of shops in Seattle and California, and quite a few in Hawaii too, which for the purpose of this book I'm going to consider "west coast" instead of the island that it is. Sure we do get down to New Orleans for some beignets, but the east coast only has a few mentions, and the south is dominated by Krispy Kreme. Now, granted, Krispy Kreme is popular and what started the doughnut revolution, so it does have its place in this book. All of the donut shop owners though don't really offer a whole lot about themselves or their products. Or at least Edge doesn't write about them very much. He does make note that they were mostly secretive, but I would have though there would be more than there actually is in this book.

In fact, most of this particular book is about the different donuts Edge tries at all these places. When compared to the other books I've read in this series, it just isn't as impressive on giving the whole picture of the food. It does the travelogue thing, but the history and lore of the food just isn't very prominent in this book. This was actually the first book of his that I had trouble keeping my attention on. I kept wandering off to more interesting things. And considering its not that long of a book, that was surprising to me. But I made my way through it and learned a little more about the donut. Although he tantalized with mentioning things like Ny-Quil donuts but never actually saying what they were.

I'd give this book two and a half stars. There was some interesting information contained within it, but largely it didn't have enough interesting things to make it an excellent food book.

Copyright 2006
174 pages

No comments:

Post a Comment