The smell of fresh-baked bagels and bialys always brings me back to my childhood in Brooklyn.
Every weekend my family would pile into the car and my dad would drive us down to our favorite bagel joint in Canarsie where we’d pick out a dozen fresh-baked beauties, hot from the oven, and carry them out in an old-school brown paper bag.
In the winter my sisters and I used to fight in the backseat over who would hold the warm, steaming bag. It was only a 10-minute drive back home, but we ate our way through 3 or 4 bagels by then, ripping off pieces and passing them to my dad (when we were feeling generous).
I still remember the way the delicious aroma filled up the inside of the car, wrapping us in a warm hug. It was bliss.
Times change, though, and neighborhoods change with them.
Many of the original bagel joints shuttered up shop when the rents got too damn high.
Our Canarsie favorite is long gone, and there are few left in Manhattan, where I now live. Those that have held on were forced to reinvent themselves and now cater to tourists who flock to get a taste of old New York (I’m looking at you Russ & Daughters).
These days I still need to get my bagel fix, but I’m not about to fight my way through throngs of hungover folks and pay marked-up prices to get it.
I had to find an alternative.
And I did.
Ladies and Gentlemen, I present the Flagel.
It’s a portmanteau (word of the day) of the words “flat” and “bagel”. No hidden meaning or double entendre here. It’s a flat bagel. And it’s genius.
The flagel was originally created in the 1990s as a result of the low-carb craze.
Everyone knows that the surface is the best part, and with flagels, you get more surface per bite.
Now of course you’ll want to get the everything bagel variety and give it a good schmear of cream cheese on the outside (flagels are too thin to bother cutting open). But if you really want to kick it up a notch, you can add even more flavor with Trader Joe’s Everything Bagel Spice.
So to recap: half the doughy inside and half the calories, double the everything bagel spice and double the taste.
Told you you’d thank me.