'Glazed America:' For The Love Of Doughnuts Anthropologist Paul Mullins considers the history of the doughnut in his new book, Glazed America. Mullins uses the doughnut to trace America's consumer culture.
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'Glazed America:' For The Love Of Doughnuts

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'Glazed America:' For The Love Of Doughnuts

'Glazed America:' For The Love Of Doughnuts

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Maybe it was this clip from "The Simpsons" that sent so many of you to your computers after last week's show.

(Soundbite of cartoon "The Simpsons")

Unidentified Man: (As the Devil) So, you like doughnuts, eh? Well, have all the doughnuts in the world!

(Soundbite of the Devil's laughter)

(Soundbite of Homer Simpson scoffing doughnuts)

HANSEN: We promised you an interview on our blog with Paul Mullins, the author of the book "Glazed America: A History of the Doughnut." He's actually on our Web site live as we speak. Go to npr.org/sundaysoapbox not only to tell us your favorite doughnut memories, but maybe to throw a question at our doughnut expert. And judging from this past week's response on our Web site, many of you have been caught in a sticky situation. We asked several of you to record your memories. Here's what's Susan Sullivan(ph) of Newton, Massachusetts, had to say.

Ms. SUSAN SULLIVAN (Caller): My doughnut memory is from college. My friend Middy(ph) would come to my room at around 3 a.m. to sing, "Susan, doughnuts." I would emerge, and we would eat. Once, however, she called, "Susan, poetry." And we read from the complete works of E.E. Cummings that she had stolen from the library. I gained 10 pounds and remained an English major. I sometimes teach Cummings, Middy is still my friend, but the doughnuts, not so much.

HANSEN: And here's Lloyd Allen(ph) of Atlanta, Georgia.

Mr. LLOYD ALLEN (Caller): When our daughter Claire(ph) was four, she became angry at my wife and me. She packed a little bag and came to tell us she was running away. When I asked her where she was going, she said she was going to Ron(ph) and Cathy's(ph), our next-door neighbors, because they have doughnuts for breakfast every Saturday morning.

HANSEN: We also want to check in with a very special person who is celebrating his 92nd birthday today, NPR senior news analyst Daniel Schorr. And Dan, I couldn't end the show without saying happy birthday to you.

DANIEL SCHORR: Liane, I wouldn't end my show if I didn't hear from you.

(Soundbite of laughter)

HANSEN: I want to ask you, though, do you have a doughnut story?

SCHORR: I don't have a doughnut story as such, but this being my birthday, can I substitute a bagel story?

HANSEN: Well, it's a pastry with a hole in it. Sure.

SCHORR: Some 60 years ago I used to travel a lot on assignment or for lectures and was checking in at hotels and would come down for breakfast and say, do you have a bagel? And frequently the waiter would say, what's that? And that went on for some time, 60 years ago. But then over a period of time, 50 and 40 years ago, I found something changing. I found you can go to any hotel now and go into the breakfast room and say, do you have a bagel? And they say, well, of course. How do you want it? Toasted or not toasted?' And I think the arrival of the bagel in places which didn't used to know about bagels is a part of the celebration of my birthday.

HANSEN: Well, happy birthday, NPR senior news analyst Daniel Schorr.

SCHORR: Liane, I thank you.

HANSEN: And to bring our story full circle, here's NPR's Scott Simon with his five-year-old daughter, Elise, for a little doughnut story of their own.

SCOTT SIMON: Baby, you can hear me, right?


SIMON: OK. Do you remember what you used to call a doughnut?

Ms. SIMON: Yeah.

SIMON: OK. So, like, what happens when we go to - when we walk into a place like Cinderella's(ph)? What do you like to say?

Ms. SIMON: I want a candy bagel.

(Soundbite of laughter)

SIMON: Did you say, I want a candy bagel?

Ms. SIMON: Yes.

SIMON: I'll tell you what. We're going to get some candy bagels tomorrow, OK?

Ms. SIMON: Yay!

HANSEN: To send us your doughnut or candy bagel story, or to post your questions to Paul Mullins, author of the book, "Glazed America: A History of the Doughnut," go to our Web site, npr.org/soapbox. This is Weekend Edition from NPR News. I'm Liane Hansen.

(Soundbite of song "The Donut Song")

Mr. BURL IVES: (Singing) My friend, the little sparrow, Flew close enough to see, Written on the rainbow is this philosophy. When you walk the streets you will have no cares, If you walk the lines and not the squares. As you go through life make this your goal. Watch the donut, not the hole. Watch the donut, not the hole.

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