absolutely, positively, my last word on bagels, bagels, bagels

Michael Forstadt (forstadt@HUSC.HARVARD.EDU)
Fri, 19 Aug 1994 09:23:23 -0400

The current thread in the bagel lore discussion is leading in the direction
of suggesting that maybe bagels aren't so Jewish after all. I suggestion
has been made that maybe this is a false stereotype.(?)

I beg to differ.

Although bagels have caught the nation by storm in recent decades, this
most certainly was not always the case. Not so very long ago, it was rare
for a non-Jew (excluding, perhaps, New Yorkers) to even know what a bagel
was. I'll relate a brief, true story.

In the 1950s, my father and grandfather ran a popular kosher deli in
Denver. One day, a non-Jew walked into the store and approached my father.
He said "I came in here to try this bagel-and-lox thing that you Jews
eat. I want to know what all the fuss is about over these things." After
eating his sandwich, the man once again approached the counter. "That was
absolutely delicious! But, if you don't mind me asking, I'd just like to
know one thing. Tell me, which was the bagel and which was the lox?"

Mike Forstadt
Cambridge, MA