Bagels are favored to win the bread battle

By Jonathan

While recently roving Dinkytown sidewalks, my daydreaming was disrupted by the sight of someone ingesting the recent phenomenon known simply as the bagel. I was further intrigued as a truck blew by, announcing to all through its unavoidable advertisement that a Bruegger’s bagel is “the best thing round!”
I laughed at this declaration, but I found myself again, just hours later, disrupted by what I now believed should be named the biggest distraction round. While enlightening myself about the extraordinary research potential of the Internet, I caught sight of a deviant student feeding next to me. The accomplice to this person’s computer lab crime was none other than the bagel. My next Web search embodied the letters of this five-lettered distraction, and I was astonished as I found more than 300 sites containing the word “bagel.” I, finding this coincidence rather engaging, decided to print out some facts for a later amusing read.
Since that day, I’ve pondered the eminent position the bagel has risen to in our society of edibles. What made me realize its indisputable popularity was the sight of two bagel restaurants a mere 150 feet apart along Lake Street in Uptown. It was then that I could no longer deny the bagel its success. I went into the establishment known as Bruegger’s to find out more about this single item of food necessitating two stores so close together to accommodate its followers.
Entering Bruegger’s this time felt far different from any of my prior visits. It was invigorating, almost humbling, entering the dwelling of such a popular commodity. I wondered, if only bagels could talk, what would they say to their close, once-famous relatives, the croissants? Everyone knows that the croissant’s fame has passed, so I decided I wouldn’t try to amuse anyone but myself with this humor. This is the bagel’s turn, and I thought I should show a little respect.
Using each of my senses, I searched for something, a hidden secret, to rationalize the popularity of this little round bread. While I perused various hanging signs, I counted more than 28 possible bagel accompaniments. With all of these choices, the bagel surely appeals to even the most discriminating tastes. One notable sign proclaimed, “Real Bagels: At Bruegger’s you get a classic, old-fashioned bagel, made the way bagels have been made for centuries.” Other Bruegger’s signs boasted of freshness and how imperative it is to eat a bagel that is hot. This led me to believe that Bruegger’s is the only place anyone could possibly eat a real bagel, one that would have the power to create an addiction.
Through the information I had printed off the Internet, which I’d forgotten about but conveniently had in my pack, I discovered that the original bagel was actually a staple food for Jewish immigrants during the early 1900s. This rebirth of the bagel has been a nutritional phenomenon, as well. The bagel contains on average only two grams of fat. Bagels also possess “twice the amount of folic acid, three times the fiber and four times the iron of doughnuts. The doughnut, which held royal office similar to that of the bagel for so long, takes further blows from nutritionists, as it is said to contain more than 10 times the amount of fat than the righteous, dethroning bagel.
The bagel’s biggest appeal is its wholesomeness, as well as its attractive price. The industry has grown in five years from a $100 million-dollar-a-year business to an $800 million dollar-a-year business. Ten years ago, it is said, only 10 percent of the country’s consumers knew what a bagel was. Now 70 percent of the population is not only familiar with them but enjoys their taste regularly. I found truth to support this through a conversation with the head of the bagel household. I was told that Bruegger’s recently celebrated its eighth birthday. Now, with more than 30 stores in the Twin Cities area, Bruegger’s astonishingly has one restaurant for every two McDonalds.
As I sat there digesting these statistics, I sought to define the type of person who eats bagels. It was 4:30 on a Saturday afternoon, not commonly one of society’s high-volume feeding times, yet Bruegger’s appeared to have acquired all hungry people on this side of Minneapolis. After monitoring this high-traffic area for more than an hour, I concluded, fighting a strong disbelief, that any type of person, any time of day, likely would enjoy the palate-pleasing pleasures of a bagel.
The future for the bagel seems void of any limits, and after visiting Bruegger’s, I ventured across the street to Einstein Brothers Bagels. I needed more than one experience to officially confirm this hypothesis. Einstein Brothers falls short in numbers when compared to Bruegger’s. However, with their seven current locations and plans to double by the end of the year, it’s a safe gamble to invest in the bagel industry.
I’ve talked with several students about the popularity of the bagel, and I’ve found that many educated people think it will bequeath its title to something else. For now, though, I would agree with Bruegger’s, as the bagel is likely “The best thing round.”
I will never stop pondering, however, and I wonder if the English muffin will one day share a similar fame. If so, Bruegger’s already has an amusing slogan.
Jonathan Chapman is a sophomore in CLA. This composition was originally written for a creative writing class.