(revised from an old Tumblr posting)
I’m not writing this to start a fight. I’m not writing this to fuel the ever lasting feud between the north and The South. I’m not. It’s just my own – Southern opinion being expressed here. It’s something that’s perplexed me my entire adult life and I feel that if I just get it out right now, finally, once and for all, I’ll feel so much better.
So. Tell me. What the heck is so great about a flippin’ bagel? Hmmmmm?
I don’t understand it; hard, rubbery, chewy bread? I mean really? Why is it some of you think it’s so awesome? Have you ever HAD a biscuit? Or a croissant? Or a fresh-baked roll? How about a fresh doughnut? (I mean FRESH – like Shipley’s – not manufactured fresh like Crispy Cream. Oooooh yes, I also have a beef with Crispy Cream, but I’ll save that for another day.)
I’ve tried. Really, I have. But every time I’m two minutes into the never-ending chew of a bagel – I just start to think it might be OK to spit it out. Maybe it’s a Southern thing. We like warm, soft food that’s easy to masticate. Oh, and butter. We like butter on our warm, soft bread. An oven-fresh roll has almost no weight. It sits in your hand like an airy thing from heaven. It smells sweet. You can give it a little squeeze and it will slowly bounce back – like memory foam.
A bagel is hard like STALE bread. You could hit someone in the head with a bagel and tick them off. You can chunk a roll at someone, as hard as possible, and not even furrow a brow. There is a restaurant over in Houston where the waiters actually throw rolls at you from across the room. It’s fun. Rolls are happy things. Look at the Pilsbury Doughboy. Happy fatty. Soft. Giggly.
A bagel is trying too hard to be too much. It’s like someone wanted to eat 15 soft rolls – so what they did was stack them – and then smooshed them down to a compressed piece of toughness and then let it dry out a little before they ate it.
Why in the world would you do that???
Okay – maybe I can understand it this way:
When I was a little kid, I would take a slice of bread, remove the crust and then smoosh it into a little doughy ball and eat it. That’s sort of like a bagel. I also used to go around my neighborhood with a bucket and collect all the dead cicada shells from the trees and then take them back to my room and hang them on my curtains to freak out my younger brothers. It was weird, I know – just like eating compressed bread. The fun was in the making of the bread ball - not actually in the eating of it.
I want to add an acquaintance’s two cents about bagels – which I think make another valid point:
“Perhaps the standards for food up north depends on how well it travels. In large, cold metropolises, food needs to make it from point A to point B and withstand the elements. A bagel starts out as cold, hard, and disappointing … so by the time you arrive at your destination, you can eliminate being let down by your breakfast food as it was pretty disappointing to begin with.”
I keep going back to the image of The Pilsbury Doughboy vs whatever the Bagel Man would look like. The Doughboy is smiling and giggling and hugging children. The Bagel Man is just standing there all tough and hard like a bouncer at City Bar. If you poke his belly he’ll break your freaking finger. Nobody wants to eat the Bagel Man.
In closing: Please, make me understand. I’m open to the idea that I’m missing something huge. Maybe I’m just not DOING it right. I tried. I’ve been in NY so much for so many years since high school and I still … just . don’t . get . it.
Until then … long live the Kolache!
This was originally written by "dianneoffpudding" and posted to Tumblr . . .
Borrowed, revised, edited, and reposted by:
The Easy Cajun