For many Americans, putting a bagel in the toaster, schmearing it with butter or cream cheese, and pairing it with a hot cup of coffee is a morning ritual.
But not everyone appreciates a toasted bagel. In a Saveur article titled “Lament for The Bagel,” Richard Horwich points out that, “Ten years ago, food writer and bagel purist Mimi Sheraton was kvetching about the ‘obscene’ practice of warming or toasting bagels before eating them.” And Mimi isn’t the only bread eater who claims that real New Yorkers don’t toast fresh bagels.
For the past 19 years, iconic New York City bagel purveyor Murray’s pleased purists by enforcing a strict no-toasting policy. Then the bagel shop shocked customers this summer by tweeting “Murray’s Bagels will now toast.”
In the tweet, Murray’s goes on to say,
Following the bagel-toasting news, Men’s Journal associate editor Jason Diamond claimed “New York is over,” while Gothamist labeled the folks at Murray’s “traitors.”
Gothamist writer Rebecca Fishbein warns, “Laugh now, but it’s just a matter of time until every bagel shop in this city serves nothing but thawed ‘New York Style’ bagels straight out of Thomas’s packaging.”
Many New Yorkers argue that fresh bagels should never be toasted; they say that toasting should be reserved as a way to revive stale or frozen bagels.
But some folks, like video producer at CBS News, Will Croxton, thinks Murray’s has made the right decision.
Quartz points out that another iconic NYC bagel shop, H&H, stuck to its morals and refused to toast—and then the shop shuttered in 2011. Would Murray’s have suffered the same fate if it stuck to its no-toasting policy? Now we won’t have to find out.