Spending a few days in NYC, I’ve been thinking more than usual about bagels and bialys. Serendipitously comes this item via Book of Joe: some guy pops up and claims to have invented the everything bagel. And then Seth Godin pops up and says he didn’t. I’m all in favor of setting the historical record straight, but really, is inventing the everything bagel really something you want on your resume? Especially if you did it by sweeping up burnt seeds and applying them to new bagels? Feh.
I admit it, I don’t like the everything bagel. For the record I’m against pretty much all newfangled bagel flavors, shapes, sizes and colors. I don’t like cinnamon raisin, but I will grudgingly grant it a place among the original bagel varieties. Whole wheat, sourdough, asiago, blueberry, wasabi, tomato basil, truffle oil and their ilk need not apply.
So what’s wrong with the everything bagel? After all, it’s pretty much a combination of all the canonical bagel elements: sesame seed, poppy seed, onion, garlic, and salt. For one thing, it’s a pretty big claim – does it really have everything on it? It’s like the punchline to a bad joke: “make me one with everything.” The desire for “everything” is at once indecisive and pointlessly greedy – like a katamari with a hole it the middle – to me, it’s a symbol of what’s wrong these days, nothing to be proud of.