I grew up in Miami, but it never felt like home. Now I’m in Brooklyn. It’s a difficult place to live — sometimes it neglects you — but, for me, it feel likes home. The things I love most about it read like a laundry list of what Miami lacks: public transportation, music, density, cheap food, bike lanes. And yet there’s one thing I miss about Miami, one arena where Miami reigns supreme on the world stage.
Yea, I said it. I live in New York, and I miss Miami bagels from the bottom of my soul.
It’s not through any familiarity or sentimentality that I prefer Miami bagels. I’ve already explained my disappointment with the city in general, but I should add that I take bagels exceedingly seriously. It’s almost a hobby. Even in New York, many famous bagelries do not meet my standards.
The perfect bagel is somewhat thin, economizing, not inflated. There should be a hole in the center — when they’re too fat, the middle can resemble tight lips. It’s crunchy on the outside, soft on the inside. Otherwise, you’re not eating a bagel, but a roll with a stab wound.
A good bagel is a little sweet, almost imperceptibly so (though you notice when it’s missing). And then there’s that something extra — call it lusciousness. I can tell just by looking whether a bagel has it or not, but you’ll know by the first bite. It should feel like an indulgence.