why you should never move to Boston
bendy at duke.edu
Thu Jan 5 07:29:22 EST 2006
Chris Calloway wrote:
> I guess it's more like a doughnut than you think. As far as I'm
> concerned, a doughnut, meaning a KK, should be eaten within five
> minutes of coming out of the oven.
It is my belief that the bagels success is just a case of natural
selection; at a time when a big segment of the population started
believing that a daily doughnut was a bad thing, they found a doughy
circle that came in several different flavors that was good with coffee
and could be eaten in its stead.
The eventual demise of the salt bagel will be confirmation of this
theory. I'm surprised there hasn't been an echinacea bagel. Or maybe
there has, out west.
I spent most of the 90s living in a Pittsburgh neighborhood that had two
local, independent bagel shops. For a while, I lived above the larger of
the two- I remember getting bugged all winter by this noise, an
electronic *scrunch...scrunch...scrunch* that sounded like a giant dot
matrix printer. In the spring, the back door to kitchen was open, and I
finally saw what it was; a machine, sorta like a tennis ball serving
machine, that was hooked up to the hoppers of bagels. Employees could
dial in a order- 12 poppy, 4 sesame, 4 plain - and it would suck the
appropriate number *scrunch...scrunch...scrunch* from the appropriate
hopper and shoot them into a bag. Then the bags would get delivered to
the offices that had made the order.
Anyways, this shop supplied most of the city, and the other served just
the neighborhood, and you could hear the mumblings about which was
better, but both served dense, three-inch rolls that came in about seven
flavors, all savory, none sweet.
First, both shops started in with the extra flavors- chocolate chip was
one of the first. Then Bruggers moved in, and the smaller shop closed.
Chesapeake moved into the smaller shop's storefront. All the chains did
decent business, and eventually the old shop closed it's neighborhood
store, retreating to is large-scale bakery in the 'burbs and going
A traditional bagel isn't like a rock in the stomach first thing in the
morning, 'cause it's only got a bit of cream cheese on it, and it's a
small portion. It's a pleasant little buffer for black coffee.
At any rate, if a local bagel shop can't make it in a neighborhood that
supports a kosher Chinese restaurant, it's folly to expect dense,
crunchy, thin-schmear-of-cream-cheese bagels to survive in these torrid
And if the 90s made it through a bagel expansion and swing revival
without a prominent cover of Slim Galliard's *Dunking Bagels* the war
was over before it began.
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