Though there are many specific components to a good bagel, the key ingredient in the best New York bagels is supposedly New York City tap water. A unique process of filtration and mineralization that occurs naturally as it travels the remarkable distance from its source, in the lakes and reservoirs upstate, to the city is what gives the water a distinct (chlorine-free) purity--which explains why kvetchers say that it's impossible to get a decent bagel anywhere else.
On Monday the Sun Sentinel reported the opening of a South Florida bakery,
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"We make it ultra pure to begin with and then we reinsert those nuances that make it Brooklyn water," explains Alfie Lipshultz, president of Aquathin, the company that developed "The Brooklyn Water Works," as the system's called. Exactly what those "nuances" are, Lipshultz won't say. (Gothamist writer John Del Signore suggests "B.S. and chutzpah.") But bakery owner Steve Fassberg says, "We have scientific proof to back up every state of the process."
I'll suspend my skepticism for anything offering even a glimmer of hope for obtaining New York bagels in Los Angeles. For now, the secret to the bakery's new Brooklynizing-water technology is being kept under lock and key. Although franchise options are available.