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4:42pm on Thursday, 18th October, 2012:

Pumpernickel Bagels


I went to London this morning and didn't know when I'd get back, so yesterday I bought some bagels I could quickly toast and scoff this evening

25 years ago, it was near-impossible to get bagels in the UK. Most people had never heard of them. You could get them from a shop in Brick Lane in London, but that was as much as I knew. This appalled some of the players of British Legends (as MUD1 was known on CompuServe), who regarded my never having tasted a bagel as some kind of third-world tragedy. One of them, Joe Balshone (who died in 2008), decided to remedy the situation. He sent me a box of New York bagels to sample, having jumped through all manner of hoops with export agencies and import agencies to ensure they arrived within about 12 hours of being baked.

There were 70 bagels in the box.

For the next few days, my wife and I ate nothing but bagels. Eventually they got too hard and we had to feed them to the birds, but we did get through most of them. All of them were good, and some were amazing. Two types weren't a success, though: the cinnamon ones (which had cinnamon in them) and the pumpernickel ones. I'd never had pumpernickel before those bagels and I've tried to avoid having it ever since. They were like washers for some giant piece of plumbing, except chewier.

As a recognition of Joe's largesse, I put a half-eaten pumpernickel bagel into British Legends.

This explains how come I can eat bagels I bought yesterday for my tea tonight.

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Copyright © 2012 Richard Bartle (richard@mud.co.uk).