Thursday, March 29, 2012

I Like My Food Extra Inauthentic

Murray Lender, the founder of Lender's Bagels, died last week at the age of 81. Slate.com published a very backhanded tribute to the man yesterday that praised his innovation while saying his bagels were awful.

The gist of the piece:
"The fundamental story of Lender’s Frozen Bagels is that the winning product isn’t always the best one. Like Ikea for furniture, H&M for clothing, or the Olive Garden for Italian food, Lender’s innovated by finding a way to compromise on quality and reap huge gains in other spheres. To an extent, it’s thankless work. Nobody wants to stand up and proudly proclaim, 'I changed the world with my inferior products.' But often this is how the world changes."

I'm often defending San Francisco bagels from New York snobs (what, they taste fine, people), so maybe I shouldn't further undermine my credibility. But I have to say, I loved Lender's Bagels when I was growing up.

I would eat them constantly, and almost always with Alouette cheese.

It occurs to me now that this was a double-whammy of inauthenticity. Fake bagels, topped with a cheese that was a knockoff of Boursin. (And my French sister-in-law has informed me that even Boursin is fake cheese.)

I haven't had a Lender's Bagel with Alouette in many years, but I'm pretty sure I'd still enjoy it.

UPDATE: I also don't really understand what the big problem with pink slime is. So I probably should stop talking now.