Product: Annie May’s Sweet Cafe Onion Bagels – $11/pack; $3/bagel
The ultimate test of anything…is to test the standard. In the case of bagels…PLAIN. It doesn’t get any easier or normal than the every day, run-of-the-mill plain bagel. And, as one of the four flavors that Annie May’s Sweet Cafe now offers…Plain is, as it should be, one of them.
Bagels, to this former New Yorker…are the ultimate food. Breakfast…lunch…dinner. I could eat them all day. First of all…MMMM…CARBS. Second of all, for the most part, they are pretty versatile. You can eat them with Earth Balance, or Cream Cheese, make them into a sandwich…or a pizza…
That’s the great thing about bagels. ESPECIALLY…Plain Bagels. It’s like staring down a blank canvas. You can go sweet or savory with it…and that’s why they are magical. And wonderful.
And, when you get one of the NEW Plain Bagels at Annie May’s Sweet Cafe…you are also getting one that is Top 9 Allergen Free. How about that?! So before any further discussion…let me reiterate one little thing…
Annie May’s bagels are not pre-cut. Never fear…this is nothing that a good serrated knife can’t fix. Slicing a bagel isn’t hard. Make sure, if you’re starting from frozen, thaw the bagels out and then slice through them. As a pro bagel slicer…start where the bagel is a little bit thinner and slice through that end first. It makes for a much cleaner and even cut. Pro tip!
Now…let’s dig in…
The plain bagel is the simplest of pleasures when it comes to the bagel. You can’t go wrong with it. But it has to be made well. That’s the one caveat I have. Call me a bagel snob if you must…but a bagel must not just look like a bagel…but taste like a bagel. And if you can’t do a simple plain bagel…well…just stop trying to make them.
Annie May is fantastic when it comes to the products she serves because if she doesn’t like it or if she isn’t happy with it…it’s not going in the bakery case or freezer or up on the Web site for order. Talk about good quality control. As a consumer, I appreciate that as it means I am guaranteed a tried and true product. YAY!
I eat breakfast at work…because it keeps me from snacking so much if I have a later breakfast. Seriously, I used to have 3 snacks a day…so shifting meals worked for me. I have to take a few precautionary measures to ensure I still eat safely…but I’ve manged so far. My office has a toaster oven in the kitchen and I bring my own aluminum foil to use since I avoid the communal toaster completely, because…well…cross-contamination.
As was true with the Everything Bagel and the Onion Bagel…the Plain Bagel toasted up to a golden perfection. I could tell as I pulled the foil that cradled these little babies from the toaster oven that they weren’t going to disappoint. The outside toasted up to get a little crispy…and the surface got that gorgeous golden color and crispy…but it still had the fluffy, chewy middle, which is definitely what makes a bagel so…incredible. It’s not just bread…it’s so much more than bread.
As a traditionalist, I schmeared this bagel with the new Kite Hill Jalapeno Cream Cheese. I love Kite Hill because it has a whipped texture, but packs amazing traditional flavor. It is almond milk based, so if nuts, specifically almonds, are a problem…try other options on the market. Thankfully, we live in a time where the market is inundated with dairy-free products so there are numerous options to fit your dietary needs. And…if dairy isn’t an issue for you or if you aren’t vegan…well…grab yourself some of that Philadelphia Cream Cheese and go to town. But…it’s Kite Hill in my home. Because YUMMY!
So now that we’re properly dressed…let’s take a bite, shall we?
Sometimes bagels can just feel heavy. These are perfect. Just the right amount of bread to get you to that right level of fullness. These toasted up beautifully. If you have had the chance to taste and partake of Annie May’s dinner rolls, sandwich buns or soft pretzels…these are very reminiscent of those. And Annie May’s Sweet Cafe, to this day, has my heart when it comes to gluten free (and vegan) breads! The same is holding true with their new bagels. Plain bagels…they are simple…but delightful and perfect to fit whatever you’re feeling when it comes to breakfast. OR…make it a sandwich. If you’re not a vegan, put an egg in between it with some greens. Or…top it with marinara and vegan mozzarella cheese shreds. Bagel pizzas really are life.
Plain bagels can satisfy any desire or crave…and these are no exception. I probably ate mine way too fast…but I was enamored with it. I was dreaming up other ways to eat them…rather than the standard way. Why not? I do my best thinking when I’m eating delicious food! If you haven’t gotten yourself around to purchasing these bagels…get on it. Now.
And, remember, if you aren’t lucky enough to live in Louisville, Kentucky (like I am…because this bakery has been with me for ALL of my Celiac journey…we’ve grown together), have no fear…Annie May’s Sweet Cafe does ship…and yes…they are shipping the bagels.
But, I highly encourage you…get the bagels!
As I stated before, they do offer them at the bakery as well…and if you don’t want to buy a pack of four…you can buy them individually there and get them topped with Earth Balance, jam (raspberry or strawberry), or plain cream cheese. I think they are currently offering them in-house on Tuesdays and Thursdays. So, you may want to call ahead and make sure they have them. But…you can just go and hope for the best. If nothing else, you’ll walk out of there with something tasty.
Stay tuned…because next week…I will delve into their sweeter version of their bagels…the Cinnamon Sugar. But…today…it’s all about plain. But there is nothing ordinary about these. They are definitely extraordinary.