Posted in things we like, tools of the trade by hemmant jha on September 24, 2010

What is a bagel?

“A bagel is a round bread made of simple, elegant ingredients: high-gluten flour, salt, water, yeast and malt. Its dough is boiled, then baked, and the result should be a rich caramel color; it should not be pale and blond. A bagel should weigh four ounces or less and should make a slight cracking sound when you bite into it instead of a whoosh. A bagel should be eaten warm and, ideally, should be no more than four or five hours old when consumed.

All else is not a bagel.” ED LEVINE, December 31, 2003, NYT.

Considering its location right by Zabar’s, H&H has been frequented by members of this studio. While Mr.Levine has the luxury of living in what is clearly a bagel rich town, those of us who visit infrequently tend to achieve satisfaction with products of a rather lower standard. Which is not to say H&H bagels are not noteworthy – quite the contrary. Freshly made H&H bagels are a perfectly delicious production – and are just fine eaten by themselves, without the crutch of excessive amounts of cream cheese or strange berry additions to the mix. Somewhat outsize by hardcore classic bagel standards [I have not seen a bagel in years that meets those dimensional requirements], they’re pliant on the inside and have a crusty exterior that fights back when bitten into. Something that looks similar but poses no resistance is simply an impostor, quite possibly a cupcake in disguise – stay away.


4 Responses

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  1. Sri said, on September 24, 2010 at 4:31 pm

    Hey there..
    I love your posts on things you guys use & love….and their design. I can see you have an eye for good,clear design coupled with sense for good construction/build quality. Being a design student myself, I can really appreciate the effort it takes to hone these two abilities. It shows in your writing and photography.

    Now to get to the point…Umm..I was wondering if you could help me out.
    I have been looking for a backpack for my camping/hiking trips. As you know there a TON of backpacking brands with all sorts of products. In your experience, have you come across a company or a brand that makes REALLY good backpacks ? Would love to know if you have..

    Thanks & keep posting..

  2. hemmant jha said, on September 29, 2010 at 10:23 am

    hello Sri,

    Thanks for your comments – it’s good to hear that you like our approach and our work.

    Backpacks – now that’s something we’ve thought about often. I like backpacks, but I do not hike, so my personal thoughts on the matter will be uninformed and of no use. However, I have friends who have walked the Appalachian trail, and I imagine they will have recommendations – stay tuned for more.

    I have plenty of experience with urban backpacks – currently using the Boblbee Megalopolis Executive, and it’s saved my neck at least once on an icy sidewalk, which alone makes it a great buy. It is heavy, but for good reason. It is not the best made, for no reason that I can think of….more soon.

  3. Sri said, on October 5, 2010 at 7:14 pm

    Thanks for replying. I am not a fan of the Boblbee either..Frankly I find it a little overdone for a backpack. But it sure can be protective, as you described.

    So i’ll wait for for the final word on this..

    Btw, I had met you at the Interaction design for children conference at Northwestern about two years ago, while you were still Think/Thing. Not that you would remember, but thought i’d mention it anyways. I was attending as a research assistant with my professor Abir Mullick. I remember stopping by your “booth” and taking a look at your product. Thought it was very well done.


  4. hemmant jha said, on October 19, 2010 at 4:36 pm

    hello Sri,

    Here it is. From Ben Thompson, the man who makes his own camping gear when he’s not designing away at his creative consultancy, Studiofluid.


    If I didn’t make my own, I’d buy the Circuit from ULA equipment. Everything is still hand-sewn in Logan, Utah.

    Or, a more mainstream, but very good pack is GoLite Jam:

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