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For New Yorkers, bagels aren't just a bready breakfast food, they're closer to a way of life, practically a religion. Ask a New Yorker where to get the best bagels and he will come over all sectarian. It has to be H&H. No! Zaro's! Are you kidding me? Ess-a-Bagel. Ah, you poor fools, go to Brooklyn for Terrace Bagels, they're worth the trek. Yadda, yadda, yadda...

From where I'm standing it boils down to whatever is local. And I stand by that in London too, but I reckon I'm pretty spoilt in my own local bagel bakery, Roni's on West End Lane in West Hampstead. According to my ex-NewYorker husband, Roni's knocks the poppy seeds off the "challah-bread doughnuts" they punt in Brick Lane. Apparently, Roni's has found the right balance of crusty, chewy and doughy. A good bagel should endanger your crowns and threaten to stick to your teeth. If you say so, sweetcakes.

But, perhaps sacreligiously, I think the most interesting thing about the bagel is the schmear, the myraid variety of cream cheeses you can get in New York, from Amish plain whipped, to olive, mixed vegetable, lox spread and, my personal favourite, scallion and horseradish. Top that with some magnificent smoked wild salmon from Russ and Daughters and now you've got a breakfast to get worked up about.


This page contains a single entry from the blog posted on October 14, 2005 7:27 PM.

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