Eating A Roll With a Hole and Other Bagel Intelligence

I never really thought about living in another country before. Sure, my summer in Barcelona many years ago was predictably magical. But could I really live there?

No, because it’s a country without bagels. And if I were to base my residency on bagel possibilities, I would strongly consider Canada (and Denmark).

Montreal bagels own some serious street cred (although our writer hated Montreal bagels), with even an appearance on Anthony Bourdain‘s anti-trend travel show No Reservations. But no obsession can really be complete without a dedicated Tumblr. And we’ve found it on Bagel Diaries.

You will find all of your Montreal bagel needs here (and links to ground-breaking bagel articles).

Bagel Porn:

Bagel Jewelry:

Bagel Questions Answered:

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Chopped Liver, Schmear and Pastrami: Find Your Sign in the Yiddish Zodiac

In 2011 I’m pretty shocked when I receive a silly forwarded email. Usually it’s about secret ways to dial 911 or some clearly untrue scam, or how to bust a hole through the tail light of a car in case someone shoves me into a trunk.

But a forward I received from my cousin last night actually made me laugh. Out loud. Forgive me if you’ve seen this gem of Jewish humor before. If not, let me present to you the Yiddish zodiac.

For those who frequent Chinese restaurants and see the place mats showing the Chinese zodiac (you know, the year of the rat, the year of the monkey, etc.) – well, here is the official Jewish equivalent. Now you can find out who you are.

THE YIDDISH ZODIAC

The Year of: CHICKEN SOUP
1907, 1919, 1931, 1943, 1955, 1967, 1979, 1991, 2003
You’re a healer, nourishing all whom you encounter. We feel better  just being in your presence. Mothers want to bring you home to meet their children – resist this at all costs. Compatible with Bagel and Knish.

The Year of: EGG CREAM
1908, 1920, 1932, 1944, 1956, 1968, 1980, 1992, 2004
You’ve got a devious personality, since you’re made with neither eggs nor cream. Friends find your pranks refreshing; others think you’re too frothy. Compatible with Blintz, who also has something to hide.

The Year of: CHOPPED LIVER
1909, 1921, 1933, 1945, 1957, 1969, 1981, 1993, 2005
People either love you or hate you, making you wonder, “What am I, chopped liver?” But don’t get a complex; you’re always welcome at the holidays! Bagel’s got your back.

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Bagels in the Land of Danes

In the tiny country of Denmark, best known for its abundance of slim dark bread, I couldn’t believe my eyes when I saw signs for bagels. During my four days in Copenhagen I ate plenty of browned rye bread—on its on, with butter, with garlic aioli, with smoked herring, with strong, old cheese—so please don’t judge me for wanting to see how the Danes produce this New Jersey staple.

We ordered The Bagel Co‘s version of an everything bagel, studded with pumpkin, sunflower, caraway and sesame seeds. While the crust was softer than I’d like, the crunch of the large seeds helped add that bit of texture that I crave with a bagel. But what I absolutely adored was the schmear: pesto cream cheese, lightly herbed and plenty creamy.

 

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A Gentle Reminder

“Excuse me,” I politely said.
<Man behind deli counter ignores me.>
“Sir?”
“Sorry, Sir…”
<Man behind deli counter ignores me.>
“Excuse me, SIR?!”
<Man behind deli counter looks up at me.>
“Hi. Do you know what kind of fish is in the whitefish salad?” I ask, nodding my head to the golden, smoked whole fish just below him.
“Whitefish.”
“Sorry, what KIND of fish is in the whitefish salad.”
“White. Fish,” he explains, as if I’m the asshole here.
“What KIND of WHITE fish?” thinking I couldn’t possibly ask this question more specifically.
“I don’t know.”

While it seems there might be a few definitions for whitefish (according to Wikipedia), I’m still fairly uncertain what the typical smoked whitefish salad is made from. But what I did find particularly interesting in this salad from Lenny’s Deli was the texture. The fish wasn’t pulverized, like most fish salads. This fish stayed intact, allowing cream cheese to keep together big flakes of fish. It was a gentle, but probably unintended, reminder that we’re eating an animal.

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Safe at Home

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You won’t believe this, but I returned to Southern California this past weekend. Yes, two trips to SoCal in two weeks. And on both those trips, I avoided eggs, which is something that offends and prolongs my hangovers, and generally makes me unhappy. Oh how I craved the Huevos Rancheros in La Jolla!

I haven’t fully investigated where the bad eggs could have landed (but holy shit, the people behind this recall are awful, and I’m ashamed to say, Democratic donors), and therefore I have avoided anything but eggs I buy directly from a farmer.

Last week I fulfilled my craving with a roasted tomato egg salad, but after a weekend yearning for greasy egg sandwiches, I knew what had to be made for lunch upon my return.

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