After a recent NYTimes article about California bakers not being able to make great bagels, social media remarks directed my way (as well as my partner here, Jonitin) nudged me to write a response. Why? Because the truth is New York can not longer boast of great bagels, itself, whatever water we use. The problem are bad bagels crafted by those ignorant of the craft. Given most of the wisemen of this basic urban staple are gone (primarily elderly Jewish bakers) and their kids just don't seem to be following them into the trade of boiled bread, the world of bagels is suffering universally. Oy, vey!
That said, to say the gift of New York bagels is the local water is bologna - the metaphorical vs eating kind. How do I know? Because I've made great bagels in cities whose waters might make Californians cheer their own. Whether it was creating them in Istanbul or Montreal, great bagels are highly possible despite any murkiness in the H20. To prove this, I'm taking on a challenge sometime next month when I visit my brother on the left coast. Together we will bake bagels that will make Californians sing "oy," or better yet, le chaim!" More to follow.