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on the downward side of the age mountain.

Saturday, February 16, 2008

Whoopee it's Bagel Bliss

Let’s talk about those bagels that I alluded to in the Whoopee blog. My first thoughts Saturday morning were of how quickly I could make coffee, feed the animals, and dive into bagel bliss. There is always trepidation when food memory and real product meet. Have you waxed poetic on the perfection of the item? Was it really that good? Maybe it was good because you were starving and you used your last dollar to buy sustenance. Maybe it was who you were with? Was this a food shared in a post romantic interlude? My perfect bagel moment was when I was in high school and had Saturday morning Chinese language lessons. There was a car pool of kids that traveled from Dover, NJ to Piscataway. Along the route was a bagel shop in a strip mall.

Time stopped when I walked into the bagel shop. Giant caldrons of water were bubbling with their doughy orbs. Large horizontal pizza ovens flanked the back wall cranked to the perfect temperature to brown the bagels outside. I only ate the hot freshly baked bagels. I snubbed the cool ones in the metal bins. Salt, poppy, sesame, everything, I ate them all with or without cream cheese depending on the pennies in my pocket.

Why did these become my gold standard? It was a food I discovered. Growing up in Iowa gave me little experience to this ethnic wonder. It was an adult pacifier that sent me into a carbohydrate orgasm that lasted through the interminable Chinese class. That gummy doughy center encased by a skin that you had to fight open and chew into a pulp before swallowing. It didn’t get much better.

My husband’s gold standard was based on bagels at the source, New York City. It never occurred to him that there could be a bad bagel until we found ourselves in the Midwest. Then all of his ethnic standards were challenged and we only ate bagels that were brought to us from friends and relatives. We ate them like junkies gorging and hording until the last poppy seed was swallowed.

Now we have become a bit more egalitarian in our bagel consumption. We resign ourselves to an inferior product and with each bite remind each other that it isn’t like…

It is only when we have a chance to eat the perfect bagel that our trust in our bagel memory is renewed. We forget all of the inferior substitutes and wallow in bagel bliss.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Hi Queen,

My name is Shannon and I'm the editorial assistant at Foodbuzz.com. I am very impressed with the quality of your posts and to that end, I’d like to invite you to be a part of our newly launched Foodbuzz Featured Publisher program. I would love to send you more details about the program, so if you are interested, please email me at Shannon@foodbuzz.com.


Shannon Eliot
Editorial Assistant, Foodbuzz.com