The Donut by Michael Krondl

The Donut by Michael Krondl

Author:Michael Krondl
Language: eng
Format: epub
Publisher: Chicago Review Press
Published: 2014-04-03T16:00:00+00:00


The sinker, the veteran of foreign wars, the darling of the Western Front, the hero of the Italian campaign, was welcomed home with open arms. The Salvation Army lassies could certainly take a lot of credit for the improved standing of the all-American pastry. Yet even so, in 1918, the transformation wasn’t complete. At the time, the donut still shared the stage with Mom and apple pie as embodiments of what the doughboys had fought for. By 1945, however, it almost stood alone. Though donut consumption numbers are about as reliable as a GI on leave, according to the Doughnut Corporation of America, we ate 1.26 billion donuts in 1933, 3.96 billion in 1939, and 7.2 billion in 1945, which, a donut demographer would tell you, means that we went from about ten donuts per person per year to about forty in the dozen intervening years. Whatever the real numbers, it’s safe to say that following the Second World War, the climate was ideal for a donut golden age.

Among the returning vets, there were some who saw a business opportunity in the iconic pastry. The 1944 GI Bill not only offered free college tuition to returning veterans, but also guaranteed small business loans. Notices in American Legion magazine advertised discharged veterans an “opportunity in Donut Shops, not available right now to civilians” and urged them to send away for a brochure. The authors of A Treatice [sic] on the Art of Donut Making (1947) had the same idea. Their introduction notes, “This book has been written primarily because there are so many ambitious people in this country looking for a business of their own. There are ex-G.I.’s just out of the service that don’t want to go back to their old job, working for someone else.” Donuts were just the ticket.


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