Friday, August 14, 2009

The myth/legend of New York bagels

Posted by on Fri, Aug 14, 2009 at 9:42 AM

bagels.081409.jpg

If you believe a New Yorker, there are New York bagels and then there's really nothing else that compares.

Steve Fassberg is attempting to tweak that argument by re-creating the taste and composition of New York City tap water in order to provide what he feels is the right base for bagels at his recently opened shop in Del Ray, Florida.

"There are a lot of elements in a perfect bagel, but the key ingredient is water," Fassberg tells the Sun Sentinel.

Like the doughnut conveyors at Krispy Kreme, The Original Brooklyn Water Bagel Company has its water filtration system on display behind glass, which the Sun-Sentinel piece argues makes the 3,000-square-foot store look more like a "water treatment plant" than a bakery.

As the Gothamist notes, this isn't the first time that the condition of New York City's water has been debated by bagel makers. In 2006, concerns over impurities led to a discussion of water filtration, which some bagel makers saw as a direct threat to their product. (If you're unfamiliar with the history or legacy of bagels, there is an entire book devoted to the subject or you can just read this Slate article to get up to speed.)

Here in Kansas City, the New York Delicatessen was long considered to have some of the best bagels in the city, but is alas no more. Happy Gillis has tasty bialys (like a bagel except baked, not boiled, with a depression in the center instead of a hole) and Jersey Shore Bagels in Mission is was a popular spot.

If you don't feel like messing with the tap water, you can also always order H&H Bagels online.

After they arrive, you might understand what all the fuss is about. Regardless, it's nice to know that Kansas City isn't

the only place where people are crazy about the water.

[Image via Flickr: dcJohn

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