HUDS Finagles New Bagels

Come early January, bagel lovers will find themselves munching on a different brand of carb during breakfasts and brain breaks.

Bagels from the Boston-based Finagle A Bagel, which has a branch in Harvard Square, will be served in dining halls now that the company has reentered the wholesale market.

Some dining halls have already tested out the new brand by offering samples and requests for feedback. Harvard University Dining Services spokeswoman Crista Martin said that student response has been positive and that the dining halls will serve Finagle bagels starting Jan. 2.

Sally H. Rinehart ’09, a New Yorker and self-professed “bagel snob,” was enthusiastic about the switch.

“The bagels here suck. They taste like rocks,” she said. “No one outside of Manhattan knows how to make bagels, but at least Finagle gets a bit closer than whoever HUDS uses now.”

But not all students hold their bagels to such high standards.

Sam I. Wald ’11 said he did not think he would be able to tell the difference between the two bagel brands.

“A bagel’s a bagel,” Jane J. Wooder ’11 added.

On the company’s Web site, Finagle describes its bagels as boiled and baked in small batches by hand.

Though HUDS has had budget concerns in the past, this change will be “price-neutral,” according to Martin. In 2005, HUDS stopped serving Finagle bagels after the supplier decided to leave the wholesale market. HUDS then switched to East End Bagels, based out of Ipswich, Mass.

Last year amid soaring food prices, HUDS faced budget difficulties that led to menu changes, which included replacing chicken breast meat with thigh meat and cherry tomatoes with wedge tomatoes.

But, despite rising food prices worldwide and the University’s recent financial woes, Martin said that no concrete changes have been decided for the HUDS budget.

President Drew G. Faust recently announced that Harvard’s endowment had tumbled 22 percent in the first four months of the fiscal year, losing approximately $8 billion out of $36.9 billion. Earlier this week, Faculty of Arts and Sciences Dean Michael D. Smith asked professors to consider how they could cut 10 to 15 percent of their departmental budgets.

Other upcoming changes planned for the menu include a chef’s cooked-to-order entree every Thursday and a Winter Wonderland brunch on Jan. 11. Seasonal menu changes, such as a switch to hardier winter vegetables, will also be made around the same time.

—Staff writer Lingbo Li can be reached at