A Bagel Fable
by Peter Shor
I’ve heard of this guy who pitches to bagel chains
A machine he’s designed that has a clever gimmick.
The secret to New York bagels, he maintains,
Is the water, and using chemistry he can mimic
The minerals in City water mains.
“Your bagels will taste authentically Brooklynish
Because the water you use will be the same,”
But will they really? I don’t want to diminish
His invention, but I doubt his central claim.
I used to live in New Jersey. I was a glutton
For bagels, and I know that the bagels there
Can be just as good as those across the Hudson,
So it’s nothing in the water or the air;
Instead, the trick is to follow established custom,
And make the dough, proof, boil, and bake, with care.
The moral? If somebody says “Just press this button.
It works because of science,” then beware!
This machine really exists — I read an article about it. I have no idea whether the inventor ever made any money off of it, or whether his company still exists. Certainly, there are some bagel chains (at least two) that came up with this gimmick, but I think they predated this inventor, so they probably use their own systems.
And I don't think their bagels taste anywhere near as good as authentic New York/New Jersey/Connecticut bagels.