Mexico is amazing for many reasons, but my favorite reason is food. There are lots of different types of food. Also, many USA food products are manufactured here, so there are lots of familiar-to-me brands. I ate Honey Bunches of Oats with Almonds for bfast today =)
However, there is one surprising lacking food item: bagels. I’m not super picky about bagels; I just want non-sweet, thick bread in a circle with a hole in the middle. I looked in supermarkets and standalone bakeries: no bagels. What follows is an actual conversation that took place in the supermarket four blocks away from my AirBnB.
Setting: At the pandería section of the supermarket, where there are 184 different types of chocolate and chocolate-frosted donuts, along with lots of other sweet and savory breads, but no bagels. (Protocol: with tongs, serve yourself all the bread on pizza platters – yes – and then bring to the counter for the employee to tally and bag and place price sticker.)
ME: (in Spanish) Soooo just to confirm, you all don’t make or sell bagels, right?
EMPLOYEE: (in Spanish) Oh, sure. [Looks behind customer; gestures vaguely.] We’re just out.
ME: [Turns to look. Is not convinced.] (in Spanish) Okaaaaay but this is my fourth time here in three weeks and I’ve never seen bagels, so …
CUSTOMER IN LINE: (calling out in English) NO. They don’t ever make bagels, but she won’t tell you ‘no’.
ME: [Walks away with bag of bolillos]
CUSTOMER: [Smiling] (in English) Sorry, but you’ll never find bagels in Mexico.
I did finally find some, with Google’s help. They are far away in the “expat” and super-rich people neighborhood. They are priced in USA dollars, and cost many of them. I will wait until July – when I’ll be in the USA – to eat bagels.