New York Bagels Also Perplex Mimi Sheraton


In addition to Brooklyn, food trucks, and David Chang, we can now add bagels to the list of things that perplex Mimi Sheraton.

Following the closure of H&H Bagels’ iconic Upper West Side store, City Room has checked in with the former Times critic about the current state of the New York bagel. As the author of The Bialy Eaters: The Story of a Bread and a Lost World, Sheraton knows from rounds of baked dough, and thus takes a gentle view of the matter, saying, “In general, I think it’s deplorable.”

The culprit, contends Sheraton (and many others), is the size: Much like the average American’s posterior, bagels have gotten too big. Apparently a real bagel should be 3.5 inches in diameter, or more bialy-sized. Size affects the crust-to-innards ratio, and the bigger the bagel, the more similar its textural likeness to a “rubber tire.”

Not that thinner is necessarily better. On the subject of the New York bagel’s comparatively svelte cousin, the Montreal bagel, Sheraton says, “I have never eaten anything worse called a bagel … they looked more like a bracelet.” Good thing Goldilocks doesn’t have plans to go to Brooklyn any time soon.

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