Pizza is amazing. Bagels are also fantastic. And yet, for some reason, it was not until 1982 that some ingenious entrepreneur thought to combine the two into a singular delicacy that can be enjoyed in the morning, in the evening, or at supper time. Prior to this pivotal moment in human history, one could not have pizza any time — for pizza was not available on a bagel.
Over at MEL Magazine, writer Brian VanHooker spoke with the alchemists who first brought this wonderful foodstuff to life. It's a surprisingly interesting story, especially since the men behind Bagel Bites aren't even fans of their own food.
"You won't believe this," Stanley Garczynski, the co-creator of Bagel Bites, says with a pause, "but I hate pizza."
Despite the fact that he — along with business partner Bob Mosher — introduced one of the most well-known pizza products in history, Garczynski never quite acquired a taste for them. "People ask me all the time, 'How many Bagel Bites have you eaten?' and I say, 'Not very many,'" he tells me. At most, he'll have a single slice of pizza when his wife or two sons order some, but that's about it.
As for his own invention, he's certainly tried them — especially in the mid-1980s when he and Mosher were first experimenting with their recipe — but he never went crazy for miniature pizza bagels the way that millions of children, college students and just about everyone else did. That might seem incongruous to the origin of Bagel Bites, but it's also a testament to their brilliance — almost everyone loves pizza, and the simple genius of snacky pizzas on a mini-bagel was such an inspired idea that even a guy who wasn't nuts about it could see the potential.
If I'm overselling this, it's because of Lender's Bagels out of Hartford, Connecticut. As someone who grew up in the 80s in Connecticut, I've always have a strong affinity for their mini bagels, but I never knew they played such a prominent role in bringing pizza to my breakfast.
How Bagel Bites took a (tiny) bite out of snacking history [Brian VanHooker / MEL Magazine]