By Kevin Boyle
As usual, the following content is intended for immature audiences.
I get it. Everybody’s got an opinion about pizza, especially lately, with some contest that just concluded. This one’s the best. No, that one is. Blah, blah, blah. Well, I’d like to steer the conversation to pizza’s low-rent, teeth-missing distant cousin: the pizza bagel.
At my age, you really shouldn’t be eating pizza bagels, certainly not the kind that you buy frozen. For that matter, maybe you shouldn’t be eating them at any age unless it’s 4 in the morning and you’re too drunk to go to Pickles and Pies for The Godfather or The Rockaway Chicken Club.
In my case, I do it for the science.
And the speed. A minute and 34 in all the clinical studies I’ve conducted is about right.
We’re talking cooking time.
The wise choice no one ever chooses is using the regular oven. You’re really gonna pre-heat the oven for these things? It’s bad enough you’re eating them; the least you can do is get it over with.
Of course, the microwave turns them into red and white chewing gum. But as gum goes? They ain’t bad. And the flavor lasts longer than a stick of Wrigley’s. Sheesh, that’s another column. Mentos gum is no better. The flavor’s gone so fast, all you’re doing is giving your jaw and temple a workout, but I digress…
Now, as I ponder plates of Bagel Bites, I wonder if it’s actually more art than science. You set the microwave on high for a minute and as the seconds count down, you peer through the glass and see a minute’s too short. The red and white orbs are barely thawed. You re-up the microwave for 34 seconds. Even with such exquisite timing, if you’ve put a standard nine set on the plate, you can bet only five will turn out just right. Two of them are nuked to death and another two are only cooked on one side.
What’s the science on two of them being half cooked? And two being incinerated? Same microwave, same plate. Further study is needed. I chew one of the five good Bagel Bites and wonder about the two half- baked guys, a little sad that they’ll never fully mature. They had their chance; they’re not getting more than a minute thirty-four. They’re going in your mouth. They’re half-baked and you half hate yourself for eating them.
The nuked ones, practically fused into the plate, are fake-outs. You think the burnt cheese and the surviving remnants of the bagel would be worth chiseling off the plate, but you’d be wrong. I’m no expert but my guess is this is what dead skin and warm cardboard taste like. Sometimes you eat the second one just to make sure the first one was really that bad. (And when I say you, I don’t mean you. I mean me– or a close relative).
Now that I’m retired – oh, you hadn’t heard? – I’m trying to save money. To be clear, I’m not buying new pizza bagels. I’m saving by eating stuff in the fridge that should have gone in the attic. Who knows, maybe I’ll save a buck if I venture to the back of the fridge and open some stuff that was put in tin foil. Hmmm….Nah…That looks like pre-Sandy.
But maybe if I put it in for a minute and 37…