I will now coin the word Fegels to describe the fake bagels they seem to sell everywhere. A proper bagel should be part-boiled before baking and contain egg, which means you can’t leave it on the shelves for any period of time, and be coated in sesame or poppy seeds. Personally, when I go back home to visit my pleasurably independent, liberal and intelligent (remaining) grandmother I stop in at the shopping centre in nearby Hale Barns, which seems to be a hub of the Jewish community on a Sunday morning and buy them out of bagels, especially the sweet, tiny, chewy mini-bagels (bageleh?) they sell.

That said, what I’ve read of bagels elsewhere indicates that my bagel-facism is entirely parochial. When you compare the enormous bready New York bagels with the great hooped, sesame-encrusted Arab baygelah and the tight Eastern European knots, there’s very little similarity. I read the very Jewish Hillel Cooperman’s recipe with trepidation. He’s obviously researched bagels a lot more than I have, so I guess I’d better bow to his superior wisdom and recommend his superior recipe. Like you’re going to make it anyway…

I get the same culinary irritation from the fake Moussaka you saw everywhere about five years ago, before the Greek community pointed out that Moussaka was not vegetarian Lasagne, as the liberati assumed, but in fact a dish involving those tricksy vegetables Aubergines, which so many veggy liberati seem to loathe. What it comes down to is an irrational desire for clear communication, especially in important fields like politics, philosophy and hedonism (specifically the gourmand subsection.) Anyway, it’s just my hobby horse and “I need not tell the reader, if he keeps a H O B B Y – H 0 R S E that a man’s HOBBY-HORSE is as tender a part as he has about him…”

Argue with me