Don't you hate those people who have to start every story with a story? Yeah. Me too.
Some people have very strong feelings about politics, religion, the death penalty. Me? I have very strong feelings about bagels. VERY strong feelings. My family is all from New York. I consider myself a New Yorker even though I was born in New York State and not one of the boroughs. But I have spent so much time in Brooklyn/Manhattan/Lun-guy-land, that there is no place with which I more familiar. This familiarity means I am also an expert when it comes to the quintessential New York food (aside from pizza and cheesecake) - bagels.
Wikipedia defines a bagel as "a bread product traditionally made of yeasted wheat dough in the form of a roughly hand-sized ring which is boiled in water and then baked. The result is a dense, chewy, doughy interior with a browned and sometimes crisp exterior."
But a bagel is more than a roll with a hole in it. And outside of New York it is nearly impossible to find. Oh sure, there are tons of "bagel shops" all over the place. But friends and neighbors, none of them sell bagels. What they sell are sandwich rolls with holes. They just don't get it. And I've tried them all - Noahs, Brueggers, Big City Bagels, Einstein Bros.... And don't even get me started on what they try to pass off as bagels in coffee shops and supermarkets. I refuse to eat them. Honestly, if I were stuck on a island that was deserted save for a Noah's bagels I would eat sand. Or my own leg.
But oh how I love the bagel shop by our apartment. If you're ever in Southern Orange County check out "I Love Bagels." They're as close to authentic as you can get if you still pronounce your r's. The inside is chewy, the outside is perfectly golden, and they actually have *gasp* texture AND flavor. And oh how I love the bagel man. I go in and order half a dozen and the bagel man fills my bag with a dozen fresh bagels each time. See, that's the other benefit of a real bagel store. They close early and would never think of selling a day old bagel so towards the end of the morning they start giving them away. And my car smells soooo good. And the apartment smells soooo good. I hope there are some left when Jon gets home tomorrow night!