New York Style bagels in Madison just weeks away

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GenieU
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Postby GenieU » Wed Mar 14, 2007 10:57 am

Fine, more or less, "Better" you say, but how and why exactly? otherwise we are so deep into subjectivity (and maybe even ethnic or regional exclusivity) that its nearly impossible to explain.

As for cheap baked goods in Madison-while not bagels per se: Jennifer st. Mkt. sells a variety of freshly baked, large, doughy, rolls for 49 cents.

And a trip out to Clausens in Middleton is always an event as there is always plently of sour doughs to sample.

Prof. Wagstaff
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Postby Prof. Wagstaff » Wed Mar 14, 2007 12:29 pm

GenieU wrote:"Better" you say, but how and why exactly? otherwise we are so deep into subjectivity (and maybe even ethnic or regional exclusivity) that its nearly impossible to explain.
No, you pretty much nailed it ...
The NY bagel is "better" because it's actually a bagel and not some similar round, breadish product with the same name. The only sense in which one bagel can be "better" than another - except from a personal taste perspective, which is obviously purely subjective - is to be closer to the Platonic "ideal" of a "true" bagel, and in that sense, the NY style comes closest and the Canadian style gets second place. Since "bagel" is a Yiddish term that was applied by Ashkenazic Jews to a food of their own creation, it's absolutely correct from a semantic point of view to say something either is or isn't (or comes to close to being or whatever) a bagel. This isn't like Chicago vs. NY pizza, where neither one of them really resembles the Italian prdecessor - an 18th century Old World Jew would feel right at home eating a NY bagel but would be utterly confused by the things I buy at Woodman's.

Anyway, getting back to your original comment, I would often agree with you: people do enjoy things more because of geography sometimes. My mother's excitement over getting an "eis kaffe" while in Germany - as if ice coffee was somehow unavailable in the States - only makes sense because she had known her whole life that it was something her grandmother used to drink in The Old Country. But a NY bagel is made differently than other "bagels." It's less airy, it's crustier, it's boiled not steamed, and so on. So there are tangible differences and from there, personal taste determines which one you want to eat. So you're right, "better" is a poor choice of words. Perhaps I should have said, "truer." But then again, like I said, I'll eat anything called a bagel as long as you slather enough cream cheese on it!

depinmad
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Postby depinmad » Wed Mar 14, 2007 12:39 pm

bacon egg and cheese on a toasted honey oat bagel chased with a toasted honey oat with butter at bagels forever on university avenue is my ideal breakfast-in-the-car-on-the-way-to-work madison breakfast.

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Postby thebookpolice » Wed Mar 14, 2007 1:00 pm

depinmad wrote:bacon egg and cheese on a toasted honey oat bagel chased with a toasted honey oat with butter at bagels forever on university avenue is my ideal breakfast-in-the-car-on-the-way-to-work madison breakfast.


So close! BEC on sesame, with an everything toasted with butter.

And does anyone else find Bagels Forever's nomenclature for their breakfast sandwiches a little unwieldy? "Egg and Cheese Bacon sandwich"? Oof.

GenieU
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Postby GenieU » Wed Mar 14, 2007 1:01 pm

Similarly I'm quite content with an Asiago Cheese with Hot Pepper cream cheese from Einstein's.

Its big, its greasy, and its easily available.

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Postby cubanat » Wed Mar 14, 2007 1:12 pm

In response to the prof's statement: a good bagel is one that can be eaten without accoutrements! The taste of the dough crunching with poppyseeds or minced onions or salt crystals or browned garlic...get the picture. I agree that a bagel with whipped Philly brand CC is great (as is Tempt-tee brand--the spelling might be off since it's been awhile...) but as for a good old bagel torn apart and eaten plain - that is the true test of a good bagel!

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Postby Jesse Russell » Wed Mar 14, 2007 1:34 pm

cubanat wrote:but as for a good old bagel torn apart and eaten plain - that is the true test of a good bagel!


I second that motion.

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Postby Prof. Wagstaff » Wed Mar 14, 2007 1:41 pm

cubanat wrote:In response to the prof's statement: a good bagel is one that can be eaten without accoutrements ... that is the true test of a good bagel!

I disagree, but it does sound like a good test of a true bagel (as I defined those terms above.)

Sorry, but I don't care how good the bagel is, I want cream cheese on it.
Ain't big on dry.
Nothin' fun about dry.
Dry mouths, dry towns, dry humps ... all bad news.

Just put some damn cream cheese on it, already!
(Or just eat a piece of bread - I've never had a bagel as good as a good piece of good bread. Mmmmmmm that's good.
Of course, if you put some peanut butter on that bread ...
)

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Postby thebookpolice » Wed Mar 14, 2007 1:50 pm

Prof. Wagstaff wrote:Ain't big on dry.
Nothin' fun about dry.
Dry mouths, dry towns, dry humps ... all bad news.


Dry erase boards are fun. Dry roasted peanuts are tasty. Dry heat beats humidity any day. Dry rub ribs are awesome.

Just sayin'.

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Postby Prof. Wagstaff » Wed Mar 14, 2007 2:08 pm

TheBookPolice wrote:Dry erase boards are fun. Dry roasted peanuts are tasty. Dry heat beats humidity any day. Dry rub ribs are awesome.
ALL would be better with cream cheese.

Just sayin'.

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Postby dstol62 » Wed Mar 14, 2007 2:11 pm

Back when I used to essentially live on bagels in NYC, I remember noticing that even the cinnamon-raisin bagels had a vaguely garlic aftertaste. After a while, you got used to it. I also remember eating one at 9am and not being hungry again until about 5:30pm.

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Postby Marvell » Wed Mar 14, 2007 8:13 pm

Ducatista wrote:Sweet "bagels" are a nasty perversion.


I just wanted to quote this.

Nasty!

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Postby lutefisk » Wed Mar 14, 2007 9:55 pm

I, too, am hoping that Gotham can bring good bagels to Madison, but I can't say I'm holding my breath, because I've never found a store-bought bagel that's really hit the spot (alas, even in NYC).
Ah, now the bagels my mother used to make...
She learned how when the Jewish boy she dated in college took her home to meet his mother.
Now, these bagels were boiled long enough to actually give them a hide once they were baked. You could carry them in your backpack, unwrapped, all day and they'd never show a dent or a gouge. They were so crusty that to take a bite of them, you had to hold them in both hands and tear them with your teeth. (In fact there's a picture of me as a baby using one as a teething ring.)
Mom only made onion or salt bagels and I don't know what would have happened if we'd requested something like cinnamon raisin.
Perhaps not everyone is looking for an adversary in their bread products, but as far as I'm concerned, once you've been proven victorious over a real bagel everything else out there can only be called donut-shaped bread.[/i]

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Postby Slick Willy » Wed Mar 14, 2007 10:58 pm

Prof. Wagstaff wrote:
GenieU wrote:"Better" you say, but how and why exactly? otherwise we are so deep into subjectivity (and maybe even ethnic or regional exclusivity) that its nearly impossible to explain.
No, you pretty much nailed it ...
The NY bagel is "better" because it's actually a bagel and not some similar round, breadish product with the same name. The only sense in which one bagel can be "better" than another - except from a personal taste perspective, which is obviously purely subjective - is to be closer to the Platonic "ideal" of a "true" bagel, and in that sense, the NY style comes closest and the Canadian style gets second place. Since "bagel" is a Yiddish term that was applied by Ashkenazic Jews to a food of their own creation, it's absolutely correct from a semantic point of view to say something either is or isn't (or comes to close to being or whatever) a bagel. This isn't like Chicago vs. NY pizza, where neither one of them really resembles the Italian prdecessor - an 18th century Old World Jew would feel right at home eating a NY bagel but would be utterly confused by the things I buy at Woodman's.

Anyway, getting back to your original comment, I would often agree with you: people do enjoy things more because of geography sometimes. My mother's excitement over getting an "eis kaffe" while in Germany - as if ice coffee was somehow unavailable in the States - only makes sense because she had known her whole life that it was something her grandmother used to drink in The Old Country. But a NY bagel is made differently than other "bagels." It's less airy, it's crustier, it's boiled not steamed, and so on. So there are tangible differences and from there, personal taste determines which one you want to eat. So you're right, "better" is a poor choice of words. Perhaps I should have said, "truer." But then again, like I said, I'll eat anything called a bagel as long as you slather enough cream cheese on it!


The only real bagels made around here are from Bagels Forever because they're boiled first. Everything else that's just baked and called a bagel (e.g., Brugger's, Einstein, etc.) is just round bread, 'nuff said.

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Postby TAsunder » Thu Mar 15, 2007 10:27 am

Too bad the bagels at bagels forever have a texture halfway between beef jerky and taffy.


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