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VENTURA COUNTY WEEKEND

Cranberry bagels? Chocolate chip? Jalapeno? The mind reels.

July 25, 1996|PATRICIA WARD BIEDERMAN

Bad food ideas come about when the creator is unchecked by his or her Inner Yenta.

The Inner Yenta is to Jewish-American culture what Jiminy Cricket is to "Pinocchio" culture. It is the grating voice of conscience and good taste, the one that doesn't hesitate for a moment to say, "You plan to wear those shoes with that dress?"

The Inner Yenta believes a blueberry bagel is a shanda (a disgrace) and as for a cranberry bagel, don't ask. The foundation for this belief is the Kugel Principle. Everyone knows what makes a good noodle pudding, and cranberries have nothing to do with it. It's not that cranberries aren't kosher. It's just that a kugel, like a bagel, is a starch thing, and starch things shouldn't be too sweet, and that means you can forget the raisins, too. Start adding ingredients to a bagel that you wouldn't put in a kugel, and what you get is a shanda on a plate, with cream cheese on the side. And you plan to eat that?

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