Friday, March 6, 2009

Silliest New Product Award

Welcome to the premiere Silliest New Product Award. I hope it will be the first of many. This award will be presented on my blog, on an irregular basis, to the silliest new product that I happen to see advertised or for sale in stores. The prize will consist of exuberant mockery.

The lucky first-ever recipient of the Silliest New Product Award is... excuse me while I open the imaginary envelope... Kraft Bagel-fuls.

What are Bagel-fuls? According to Kraft, a Bagel-ful is "a golden bagel and Philadelphia cream cheese rolled into one." The bagel part of that is debatable. A bagel is not a bagel unless it has been first boiled, then baked in a brick oven. Is Kraft really going to that kind of effort? I doubt it, especially since they have no prior bagel experience. It's no easy matter to find a decent bagel unless you live in Montreal or New York. Otherwise, what passes as a "bagel" is more like ordinary bread baked in a doughnut shape. So let's say, rather, that the Bagel-ful is a large breadstick with a little cream cheese stuffed inside.

We have determined what it is, but the larger mystery is what it's for. The description on the Kraft web page contains the phrase "on-the-go, " so it appears that the Bagel-ful is aimed at busy people who lack the time to slice a bagel in half and spread cream cheese on it. No doubt these people also insert catheters every work day, because if bagel-slicing and spreading is too time-consuming for you, there is no way you can afford a trip to the bathroom. Not with your "on-the-go lifestyle."

To be fair, I suppose slicing a bagel can be a little challenging, especially if you're not Jewish and didn't learn the technique in childhood, as I did. Luckily, there are devices to help you do it. And if you're not toasting the bagel (because that takes too long), it can be difficult to spread hard cream cheese over it. But that's why spreadable cream cheese was invented. Anyway, Philadelphia does not constitute good cream cheese. One of the great mysteries of the food world is that people all over North America are convinced that Philadelphia cream cheese is the best around. Hell no. Good cream cheese does not come in a hard block wrapped in shiny paper, nor does it contain ingredients like "guar gum." Want good cream cheese? Try Liberty.

There are really two points I want to make here. One is that if you think you're so busy you can't stop to eat a decent meal, then you have bigger problems than food preparation, and are en route to ulcers, heart disease or myriad other stress-related ailments.

The other is that good food is worth taking trouble for, and slicing a bagel and spreading cream cheese on it does not take much trouble. And if you do it yourself, you can put on as much cream cheese as you want. Apparently Bagel-fuls are skimpy on the cream cheese.

A product this silly is bound to have silly advertising to go with it, and indeed Bagel-fuls does. I laugh myself silly every time the Bagel-fuls ad comes on TV. Two women are on a bus. One watches enviously as the other eats a Bagel-ful, and says, "Aren't you afraid someone's going to steal it?"

Yes, pretend bagels containing paltry amounts of cream cheese are so sought-after that Bagel-ful Crime is a real concern in urban areas. They're the new Vuarnet sunglasses.


Raine Lawliet said...

I'm no Bagel expert, so this was very insightful and amusing. I would love to see more of these.

Vivian said...

Thanks Raine! By "more of these", do you mean more stuff about food, or more mock awards?

Raine Lawliet said...

You're welcome. I meant more mock awards.

Vivian said...

I'll keep that in mind, but mock awards are contingent upon my seeing something very silly that deserves mockery. I don't know when that will happen next.

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