Skip To Content

Support the Forward

Funded by readers like you DonateSubscribe

6 Things That Should Never Be Seen On A Bagel

Friends of my parents told me this story many years ago. I love it and have never forgotten it.

Geraldine (Jewish) was bringing her boyfriend Bob (not Jewish) home to meet her parents for the first time. They were going to have a traditional Sunday breakfast: bagels, cream cheese, white fish etcetera.

As everyone began filling their plates, Bob looked up and said, “Is there any peanut butter for the bagels?”

Geraldine was mortified, but love conquers food crimes. The couple proceeded to wed, and 40 years later they are still married.

Crimes against bagelhood are being committed far and wide these days, and documented in vivid color on Instagram. A quick scan of the hashtag #bagel unearthed the following disturbing perversions of one of life’s perfect foods. None has any business being on a bagel.


Image by Instagram/@saraabdel

Any Fruit That’s Not Tomato

Image by Instagram/@brightestyoungthings

Fruity Pebbles Cereal

Image by Instagram/@matty_p_724

Candy, Especially Marshmallows

Image by Instagram/@Jerry_georgina

Baked Beans

Image by Instagram/@ijboosh

Naomi Major is a writer living in the Inwood neighborhood of Manhattan. You can find more of her writing at


Republish This Story

Please read before republishing

We’re happy to make this story available to republish for free, unless it originated with JTA, Haaretz or another publication (as indicated on the article) and as long as you follow our guidelines. You must credit the Forward, retain our pixel and preserve our canonical link in Google search.  See our full guidelines for more information, and this guide for detail about canonical URLs.

To republish, copy the HTML by clicking on the yellow button to the right; it includes our tracking pixel, all paragraph styles and hyperlinks, the author byline and credit to the Forward. It does not include images; to avoid copyright violations, you must add them manually, following our guidelines. Please email us at [email protected], subject line “republish,” with any questions or to let us know what stories you’re picking up.

We don't support Internet Explorer

Please use Chrome, Safari, Firefox, or Edge to view this site.