In case you missed the gallons of ink spilled over the opening of the Original Brooklyn Water Bagel Co. in Delray Beach by the Sun Sentinel and the Palm Beach Post (where it was 1A news), allow us to get you up to date: a bagel shop in Delray Beach opened on Monday. They make their bagels with water passed through a high-tech filtration system which, supposedly, makes it identical to Brooklyn tap water. Because of this, OBWBC claims it makes the most authentic New York bagels outside of Flatbush. You know this because the owner is from New York, and New Yorkers are the penultimate authority on baked goods like bagels and pizza.
OK, count me among the many who think this clever marketing scheme is a crock of whipped, spreadable you-know-what. I'm not saying the Bagel shop's water, once filtered, isn't different from Florida tap water. But really, enough with the New York obsessions. If the hundreds (thousands?) of delis around the Big Apple were somehow impervious to making a bad bagel just because of the water they used, then New York tap would tradeable on the commodities market (say, not a bad idea). But I submit there are far too many other factors involved to boil success down to a difference in the tap: the oven, the temperature, the recipe, the relative humidity, the waxing of the moon, etc. Maybe OBWBC just makes great bagels and it has nothing to do with the water? Or, maybe the make bad ones? Maybe --gasp-- New York is not the center of the culinary universe? Crazy talk!
Of course, the place is already looking to franchise the concept. I can see it now: Brooklyn bagels, coming soon to Topeka, Spokane, and Boise.
Now everyone rush out and get some bagels.
Update: Local blogger Jeff Eats gives his take on the shop. "Now for the results...the bagels were very good-were they the best that I have had down here in South Florida? No!..but they were very good." Trust him: this guy eats a lot of bagels.