もちもち (mochimochi): springy (texture)
Back in my language-school days at Midd, a New-Yorker foodie friend got on my case for eating the dining-hall bagels, telling me, “That’s not a bagel. That’s a piece of bread shaped like a bagel.” It’s probably for the best that he doesn’t find out what sort of things pass for “bagels” in Japan–it’s more like “cake shaped like a bagel.” Sometimes you can get passable bagels in the chain bakeries of Kanazawa, and Kaldi Coffee sometimes has imported frozen bagels, but they’re a bit pricey. Either way, it’s not just like popping over to Espresso Royale for a fresh Barry’s Bagel during an intense paper-writing session.
Bagels are one of those foods that seem very intimidating in part because of the multi-step process of making them: using yeast, letting the dough rise, shaping, boiling, and then finally baking; and in part because you really never need to make them in the US when they’re so widely available.