Critics see holes in Consumer Reports’ bagel rankings
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Critics see holes in Consumer Reports’ bagel rankings

Readers say they’re (cream) cheesed off by US magazine’s study

What could be more American Jewish than breaking the Yom Kippur fast with bagels and schmears? (photo credit: CC-BY-SA, Rattfink Press/Ellen Arnstein, rattfinkpress.blogspot.com)
What could be more American Jewish than breaking the Yom Kippur fast with bagels and schmears? (photo credit: CC-BY-SA, Rattfink Press/Ellen Arnstein, rattfinkpress.blogspot.com)

Is it really possible to buy a “very good” bagel at Dunkin’ Donuts? Consumer Reports thinks so — and is being mocked as a result.

In its newly released May issue, the consumer-rankings magazine takes on mass-produced bagels at fast-food restaurants and in the frozen-food aisle, proclaiming the best options to be those from the donut chain, Lender’s and Costco. The results have kicked up a healthy dose of skepticism, with many commentators — especially those in New York — suggesting the magazine stick to its traditional areas of expertise, such as comparing minivans and software.

“Consumer Reports rates frozen bagels, loses our respect,” announces the headline on New York City website Gothamist. A local TV station has reported that “New Yorkers question Consumer Reports top bagel picks.” “I’m Sorry, but Consumer Reports has horrible taste in bagels,” declares Business Insider, saying what it really thinks.

Ranking popular foods is always going to create controversy — especially when it’s something so closely associated with a single ethnicity and city. (No, bagels weren’t invented in New York, but residents of the city feel proprietary about them anyway.) Consumer Reports wasn’t pretending to offer a comprehensive take on the very best bagels available anywhere, focusing only those sold by American fast-food chains and grocery stores.

More interesting than the rankings, at least to us, is what kind of person buys his bagels based on Consumer Reports. Whatever the answer, we enthusiastically await the magazine’s rankings of matzas, kugels and shabbat wines.

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