1. They’re The Every-Situation Breakfast Food
Bagels are like that kid from high school who could hang out with both the football players and the drama kids, in the sense that they could equally pull off a chill session with the “quicker” breakfast foods (yogurt, cereal) and the more elaborate (spinach omelette, blueberry pancakes). No matter what sort of early-morning situation you may be in, a bagel is never not acceptable.
2. Meal Versatility
Bagels, in addition to being stellar during breakfast, have really made a statement in the lunch game. It’s not everyday you see a breakfast food defy the odds and take their talents to the next level, so dutifully accompanying turkey sandwich and chicken salad.
Eggs can only really do this in a salad. Yogurt can only really play as something that probably isn’t enough food for a whole lunch. French toast can only make it in if (a. it’s in frozen stick form (b. the diner in question hasn’t washed their sheets in 7 months.
3. Bagels Are Weird, Different
Just over a month ago, Imitation Game writer Graham Moore made a very moving Oscars acceptance speech — dedicating his victory to those who feel like they’re constantly on the outside looking in, encouraging those who feel down on their luck to “stay weird, stay different.”
I feel like when it comes to humans, it’s very hard to stay weird and different in a practical sense — you need a job, you might not want to express an opinion if Facebook deems it to be “incorrect”, and there’s a baseline level of conformity you must exercise to survive and thrive in this world, no matter your age.
Bagels, however, will always be weird and different. Sometimes the ends on the bagels get slightly twisted, sometimes bagels are perfectly round, and sometimes they’re a little bit more burnt than you’d want it to be.
No one bagel is the same, and that’s beautiful.
4. A Bagel For Everyone
Some bagels are hot and crispy, others are gooey and soft. At the risk of this article turning into scary bagel propaganda, there’s almost too many bagel options out there to not like bagels in some form.
Between the various styles and the various spreads (cream cheese, butter, jelly), there’s really something out there for everyone.
5. Bagel Location Wars
On of my favorite things about living in New York City — apart from the people who get really passionate about directions and locations of things. (NO! NOT THE MEATBALL SHOP IN WILLIAMSBURG. THE ONE ON THE LOWER EAST SIDE!!!) is people getting really passionate about their bagel store of choice.
I’ve found that one’s preference for bagel store really has most to do with where someone lives, where they went when they were 13, or how much they like the first name “Lenny.”
Irregardless, no matter where you live, it’s always nice to pledge allegiance to a specific bagel store — they become part of you, and the fabric of the life neighborhood you’re in the process of constructing.
6. You’ll run into your old teacher from 2nd grade
Little known fact: if you go to the same bagel store five times in a row, you’re guaranteed to run into a random person from your past that you completely forgot about until just now.
Be it a second grade teacher or the parents of your ex-girlfriend, this will most definitely happen. (Better hope it doesn’t get to the “so, what are you up to now??” stage.)
7. The Everything Bagel Hack
I was a little hesitant to write this one, given that it’s a personal theory and by putting it out there on the internet, people will probably disagree with said theory, and the innocent happiness of the whole thing will be forever compromised. Anyway:
If you buy say, a dozen bagels, don’t eat the everything bagel right away. Save it for lunch or the next day, then heat it up in the microwave. The “I give up” semi-stale softness of the bagel enables the salt/poppyseed mixture of everything bagel goodness to sort of seep into the bagel, making for an amazing chunk of carbohydrate. Really a top notch snack, and a true gamechanger in every sense of the word.
*Only do this is you’re indifferent to your bagel choice on the outset. Say if you’re deciding between a plain or an everything, and really have no preference, the everything will be better later.
8. An All-Star Supporting Cast
We didn’t even get to talk about the various things that really push bagels to the next level — lox, capers, comments by grandparents at family holidays. All in all, bagels boast a supporting cast deeper and more prolific than The Expendables 3.