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The World's Best Bagels Come From... a Chain?

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This week in terrible, terrible ideas, the soon-to-be-Brooklyn Nets have signed a deal with Boca Raton’s Brooklyn Water Bagel Company to provide bagels and water for the team’s new stadium. In case you’ve forgotten, the Brooklyn Water Company is being sued for fraud over their claims that they can make any water Brooklyn water.

The New York Post quotes Brooklyn councilwoman Letitia James saying, “There’s nothing Brooklyn about this water.” By the way, the New York area currently has around 440 non-Florida-based bagel shops.

In a further affront to New York bagel makers and food lovers everywhere, an article in Consumer Reports May 2012 issue tries to answer the age-old question: Who makes the best bagels? The winners: Dunkin’ Donuts (DNKN), Lender’s Original, and Costco (COST).

Let me repeat that. Dunkin’ Donuts, Lender’s Original and Costco.

There is, of course, a backlash. The Atlantic refers to the ratings as “sacrilege” and quotes writers from the Post saying that: “The study must be aimed at out-of-towners who don’t know their lox from gefilte fish.”

Beyond its (totally justifiable) anger, the Post’s comments do seem to get to the ultimate truth of the study. Everyone who cares about bagels already knows that the best bagels come from the local (New York) store. Consumer Reports acknowledges this and shouts out their own local up in Yonkers.

Basically, the Consumer Reports article is rating mass-produced, circular, bagel-type bread, not actual bagels. Still, they could have included an actual New York bagel. Plenty of places in the city will ship overnight.

As the Atlantic points out, anyone that needs to read about bagels is already in trouble. On that note, trying to rate a product that inspires the kind of block-by-block regionalism that bagels (and pizza, for that matter) do in New York is only going to cause problems.

That said, if Consumer Reports or a similar publication set out to pick the best pizza and came up with DiGiorno or Domino’s (DPZ), people would be just as upset.

There’s some things you just don’t do.
POSITION:  No positions in stocks mentioned.