This has been reported on other blogs, but I would be remiss if I did not point it out to my handfuls of readers:
Frozen bagels already stuffed with cream cheese, to free us from the arduous task of applying the schmear by ourselves.
I can only weep. I have eaten frozen bagels and they, sir, are no bagels. Last week, out of boredom and possibly drugged without my knowledge, I bought a bagel-shaped object to accompany my coffee at Starbucks. Afterwards I wished I had chosen to eat my NY Times, instead.
Bagels have always retained a hint of defiance for me. My grandfather was a baker, and his union did not like the bagel-baker's union; I don't recall a bagel gracing our household until I was a teenager. I think the act, for my mother, was like crossing a picket line. My first surreptitious bite occurred at a friend's house, and I soon became an addict.
In New York these days the best diners are Greek, the best fruit markets Korean, and the best bagels, IMHO, Thai: Absolute Bagels. They are fluffy and small, unlike the modified bricks I used to savor. My challah-loving grandfather would approve, labor disputes aside. I fear he is at this very moment rolling over in his grave regarding Bagel-fuls.