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Let the food fight begin

Jeanne Sager - Columnist
Posted 9/30/19

Traveling can be enlightening. It can be enriching. It can expand your mind and your senses too.

It can also provide you with the understanding, once and for all, that there are some food fights …

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Let the food fight begin

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Traveling can be enlightening. It can be enriching. It can expand your mind and your senses too.

It can also provide you with the understanding, once and for all, that there are some food fights that simply must be fought.

Take, if you will, the simple bagel. Boiled then baked until it's puffed its way to plump perfection, the outer shell chewy, the inside doughy and waiting for just the right amount of schmear.

This is the foodstuff of my childhood, a superb snack and unequaled base for a meal.

But to travel beyond the New York metropolitan area is to find round bits of bread with a hole in the middle passing for bagels. Mention that this thing in front of you is not, in fact, a bagel, and you're met at best with confusion, at worst with outright mockery of all that it is you have come to understand about this doughy delight.

To leave our little corner of the world is to become accustomed to deep dishes masquerading as pizza and maple syrup that's been cooked up in some factory far from the forest of sappy trees.

Of course, it goes both ways.

I thought I knew what it meant to enjoy avocados. Sometimes shoved into the millennial category — depending on which birth year you believe started the generation off — I've learned to embrace avocado toast for all its creamy goodness.

To eat a California avocado, I've learned, is to unlearn all that I've ever known about this fickle fruit. They're soft. They're creamy. They're bursting with the flavor of freshness.

For every soft-shelled bagel there's a slice of sourdough that hews back to its California origins. For every slice of sauce and cheese on too much dough, there's a mission burrito that puts those Chipotle fakes to shame.

There are clear winners and clear losers in every food fight. Here's hoping you don't leave one with egg on your face.

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