The Great Bagel Debate

There are few things in this world that are truly perfect: only a handful of items that in their very simple existence achieve their ideal form. One of these rarities is the bagel. There’s nothing quite like it, and there’s almost nothing better. I once dumped a boy because he told me that he didn’t like bagels; “I don’t really get them,” he said one morning, “they’re just really bread-y.” “Get out,” I responded, “Don’t call me.”

The realization of perfection does not necessarily mean that this carbo-loaded paradise is without controversy. For your convenience, I am here to weigh in on the topics that divide us along the lines of this breadstuff. Here to set the record straight, I’m like The Lorax, but I speak for the bagels.

Sweet Bagels: Cinnamon-raisin, blueberry, gosh-darn strawberry cream cheese crap. These are not bagels, my friends. They are but a sad imitation. An unfortunate mutation that by the grace of some unforgivable error has managed to persist. There is no shortage of sweet portable breakfast choices (muffins, croissants, pastries of all shapes and sizes.) So sweet-tooths, I beg you, leave bagels alone!

Montreal vs. NYC Bagels: The Montreal bagel is denser, smaller, and sweeter. It has a larger hole and is cooked in a wood-fired oven rather than boiled and baked. A New York bagel is chewy, and slightly more buoyant. Here is a debate in which the very basis of the question is nonsense. They are two different things completely, as incomparable as apples and oranges. Like the two cities themselves, New York and Montreal bagels are wonderful in their own right…but they have different cultures, different strengths. Let’s leave it at that.

To Scoop or Not To Scoop: Fit girls in work-out gear like to scoop out their bagels to cut some extra calories. Bagel aficionados know that this move is purely utilitarian, and depends completely upon your filling. If I am going the lox and cream cheese route, I’ll never scoop a bagel. If I’m opting for whitefish salad, I just might: the scooped out region acts as a perfect receptacle for the abundant mushy filling, preventing your precious smoked fish from squeezing out of your bagel when you take a bite.

B.E.C on a Bagel: A bacon egg and cheese is a beautiful thing. But is its ideal vehicle a bagel? And would the bagel gods approve? Here’s my two cents: A bagel is a gift that my wise people, the Jews, have graciously shared with gentiles. Doesn’t it seem just a little bit sacrilegious to violate two kosher laws–that is, eating pork, and mixing meat and dairy–upon the glutenous beacon of Judaism itself!? Though I am by no means kosher, eating treif on a bagel is a no-no in my book. People, show some respect.

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