Ingredients: Bready goodness.
Preparation: Getting my coat on to go to the Bagel Emporium.
Let me start with a caveat, the UK do not have bagels. It may look like a bagel, but it the same way I resemble a basketball player from a distance, this is a bagel in shape only. Or as Mrs G said “they’re basically a piece of bread with a hole in it”. It is a Polo loaf.
You can buy a bag which proudly announces it’s authentically New Yorker, upon showing this to the Queens originated wife she just scoffed. She did the same thing when Grandad G thrust a bag of “New York” bagels in her face. I think the reaction he was hoping for was a happy look in her eyes as she realised that she could get a piece of home from a UK supermarket.
What he got was the same expression I have when an American offers me Lipton when I ask for a cup of tea, the look that this is as far away from the original product that it should be called something different. So when I first saw a bag of these authentic bagels I had to buy them. In the same way I can’t resist pressing big red buttons.
Up until my last trip to the US at eastern I had never had one of these tasty little treats. Mainly due to them being popularly filled with cream cheese I would steer away preferring the comfort of a good ham sandwich. Whilst we were in New York Mrs G demanded a bagel, so while in Rome. Whilst in an “okay” bagel shop (bagelry?) I came to realise that the problem isn’t with the bread itself but with the choice of fillings offered this side of the Atlantic. There were rows and rows of fillings, both sweet and savoury, and despite my aversion to a cream cheese and salmon bagel in England it was the filling I went for.
And it was good. Really good.
My greatest concern about bagels was always the hole, I was worried that adding a gap to the bread just gives the content an escape route. Either that or you have to place the middle in a perfect circle to keep the airflow through the centre. Eating these proper bagels made me realise that although the shape may be a loop there is no need for a chasm is the centre. In reality the bread should have expanded to create a tiny pin price of a hole.
So we come to the pseudo-bagel, in reality it is a circular bread roll. There is nothing special about it. If I eliminated the hole I doubt you could tell the difference from a normal batch (what bread rolls are called in my local dialect).
Some people eat to live, while others live to eat. What about you? How far would you travel for the best meal of your life?
Source: Live to Eat