I grew up in northern NJ in the late '40s and '50s. One of the first solid foods I learned to love was the bagel. In high school, my friends and I used to go to the Watson Bagel Bakery in Newark in the late evening (Watson was a 24/7 operation, a rarity in those days), pick up a dozen, and go to the end of the runway at Newark Airport and watch planes taking off and landing while munching on the delectable treasures. The entire group ended up in various parts of the electronics industry, mostly starting in Engineering. Thus I would argue that the bagel rightfully deserves to be named the official food of the entire industry, not just T&M! My only brush with T&M was a summer job after I graduated (before I went off to grad school) at the NJ division of HP (previously known as Harrison Labs). Here's a link to a fascinating tale of the Watson Bagel Bakeries and some bagel history: http://www.oldnewark.com/memories/weequahic/bodianbagel.htm
"Once you cut a bagel in half, it's no longer a bagel, just another piece of bread."
I thought Bagels were special because they were not just ordinary bread - the dough being boiled first? However I would agree with your sentiments. I don't cut my morning toast in half either, I like a full slice to grip onto.
This morning, I stopped into a life place for a bagel. The bagelitself was ok as it had a good crust, but the people who prepared it ruined it. How so? They cut it on half after slicing ti and applying cream cheese. Begels must be fully round. Once you cut a bagel in half, it's no longer a bagel, just another piece of bread.
@Antedeluvian - "our tradition is to eat them open-face. More lox per unit area!". I saw that from the photo in the main article. As you may have seen from the link in my post above, the vendow I will go to only offers them as sandwiches (I guess that makes them easier to carry in a bag :-).
If When I make it to EELive 2015 I hope that you and/or Martin will take me in hand and expose me to some genuine Bagels!