Tuesday, March 27, 2012

NO ONE WANTS TO STAND UP AND LOUDLY PROCLAIM, "I CHANGED THE WORLD WITH MY INFERIOR PRODUCTS":  Matthew Yglesias on the legacy of Murray Lender, and how his mediocre frozen bagels became the gateway drug that proved that fresh bagels could be a nationwide hit.


  1. Joseph J, Finn7:41 PM

    But at godsend to people who could not get fresh bagels at all at the time.

  2. Eric J.8:03 PM

    He conditioned the world to accept anything with a hole in it that's less sweet than a donut as a bagel. It's thanks to him that Einsteins can call what they sell "bagels." And every supermarket bakery.

    He should be forbidden from being buried in a Jewish cemetary and his name should be stricken from history.

  3. GinnaD8:52 PM

    FYI, (and off topic, sorry) comments for foreigners are messed up due to google's blogspot localization change. All blogspot urls are changed to the local ones. (For me blogspot.ca.) Echo clearly doesn't recognize this. For days I was thinking no one was commenting! 

    No idea if there's a fix, but thought you should be aware of it. To get here I had to add /ncr (no country relocation) to the address. 

  4. Joseph J, Finn8:55 PM

    Can we bury him with whomever first tried to scam people into thinking pizza should be foldable?

  5. See the right-side link "A note for International readers".  We're aware.

  6. Becca9:13 PM

    My dad LOVED Lender's my entire childhood until a bagel store opened up in our small town. I think Lender's then became a painful reminder that we lived in CENTRAL Florida, and not south Florida. 

  7. Adam C.9:35 PM

    I too grew up in Central Florida, and Lender's was the only bagel I knew for most of my childhood.  That changed around high school, thankfully.

  8. KCosmo's neighbor10:47 AM

    What could be more Jewish than freezing food--a long-standing tradition/joke in my family. My grandmother will always be remembered for her mandelbrodt. Not for the wonderful recipe with orange zest as its secret ingredient, but for the "freezing" stage. She'd bake, brag about the delicious taste, and throw it in the freezer. If we ATE the mandelbrodt, we'd get fat. It was for when the "girls" came over for mahjong (apparently she could care less about fattening up her friends--made her look thinner, I guess). My defiant sister and I would sneak it out of the freezer--we learned to live with the crunch.

    To this day, my mother still reminds me when there are leftovers: "you can freeze that." I think it's a depression-era mentality.

    So as far as I'm concerned, bury Murray wherever Murray wants to be buried. I'm not a huge fan of the frozen bagel, but I get it. He was a businessman, and he made bagels a household word. That being said, has anyone ever had a bagel in Israel (I'm going back many, many years here). They are gigantic and sort of flattish.

  9. Jim Bell12:29 PM

    Lender's bagels are like many things.  It requires a conceptualization change.  Think of it not as a bagel, but just as a frozen bread product with a hole in it and it is a very good thing.  Just as instant mashed potatoes are not mashed potatoes but can be edibly delicious, or soup from a can.  You get the idea.  Lender's bagel not a bagel but still a good thing.

  10. sconstant2:12 PM

    I am amused to read that Harry Lender (who started the baglery in New Haven) was originally from Chelm - a real place with lots of folk tales told about it inhabitants being foolish.  The stories occasionally feature dumb ideas being accidentally successful...