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May 16, 1991|CHARLES PERRY

Ceci N'est Pas un Doughnut

Now you can eat mock-doughnuts ("Faux Nuts") made by a guy who was Michael Jackson's cook for two years. Mani Niall invented these low-fat, whole-wheat, doughnut-like things, which are sweetened with fruit juices and baked in molds, rather than fried, at the request of another star, Danny DeVito, when the actor had to munch a doughnut in a movie. They come in chocolate (sweetened with malt syrup), pecan-chocolate, coconut-chocolate and apricot jam flavors: $7.50 a six-pack at Mani's Bakery, 519 S. Fairfax Ave., Los Angeles.

Ceci N'est Pas un Cracker

BayFood magazine reports that San Francisco artist Laura Ann Jacobs made brass castings of some saltine crackers and then painstakingly painted the castings to look like crackers again. Voila: "Dining on the Ritz," a five-inch-high sculpture of a dining table and chair set that looks as if it's made out of saltines, but you'd better not sneak a bite.

Dessert for Thought

If you profoundly need a chocolate map/scale model of Mt. Everest or the Grand Canyon--or Texas or Los Angeles or New Jersey or Portland, or any of scores of other places--(303) 628-5522 is the answer to your prayer. That's the number of Topographic Chocolate Co. of Denver. The models come in boxes with plastic lids that point out additional details, such as topographic elevations or, in the case of the Pebble Beach Golf Course, where the holes are.

Is This What We Want, Part I

The Gaggia Cappuccino Instantly is an espresso machine that uses instant coffee. It may sound like an absurd idea, but the Gaggia company figures there are instant coffee drinkers who want crema (the traditional thick espresso froth) on their instant cappuccino.

Is This What We Want, Part II

"Just Desserts" is a diet book disguised as a sexy novel. Written by Californians Patti Massman and Susan Rosser and based on diet advice from Rosser's physician husband, it's the gripping story of an overweight woman who finds how to lose weight without giving up chocolate, becomes a famous diet guru and has steamy love affairs.

Carbohydrate News

Honey Straws are pretty much like plastic straws except that they're sealed off at both ends and filled with honey. The idea is that you bite down on one end and slurp honey at will. Made by McAlpine Associates, 901 Lexington Ave., New York, N.Y. 10021, they come in natural honey flavor and also lemon, lime, orange, mint, cinnamon and--a little more surreal--licorice flavors.

Egxpress Mail

Maybe it was the call letters of the radio station--WEGX-FM--that inspired the idea, but whatever the reason, a DJ at that Bala Cynwyd, Penn., station offered $1,000 to the first listener who could get an unbroken raw egg through the mail. More than a hundred were sent, mostly in ordinary envelopes, which the local post office kept in a separate plastic bin for delivery. One egg, in a No. 10 envelope mailed from Philadelphia, made it intact.

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