After spending a year on the road researching my book Donuts: An American Passion (Putnam, 2006), I can claim a semblance of objectivity and declare that America's love for fried, glazed, filled, and jimmie-sprinkled poufs of dough is renascent. Sure, Krispy Kreme was a catalyst. But now that the cumulus of powdered sugar has cleared, I've come to believe that the best American doughnuts transcend fads. They are honest and forthright. They are goofball and flyweight. The best are cooked by iconoclasts, dedicated to the exaltation of fried dough rounds. The following are exemplars of the art.