My sister and I didn’t grow up in New York, or any other bagel-cultured part of the world. We grew up in Jeddah, where bagels have no business. We grew up slathering Puck cheese on warm, soft samoolees and then stuffing them with smoked turkey cold cuts and rocket leaves and eating them in 6s. But then in…2005(?), we binged on our very first “season”, of what would become one of our all time favorite shows: The OC -shame how it ended so abruptly, the last season was a major dud. I don’t know if you’ve seen The OC, but they have bagels in every single episode of that show, every single morning for breakfast. As far as I can remember, 20% of the time we spent watching that show was spent in awestruck wonder over this apparently addictive form of carbs called bagels, and the super-cool gadget called a bagel slicer. Haha, if only I knew back then where I’d be a decade down the road.
Eventually, of course, frozen bagels reached the shelves of Saudi supermarkets, my sister and I pounced on them, and frankly, decided that Seth and Ryan (from The OC) clearly need to try some samoolees because that stuff is the real bomb.com. Over time however, bagels have grown on me and I often find myself craving them and get my fix at Spinneys.
What are bagels, and what makes them different from your standard brioche/bread etc., you might ask? The main distinguishing feature of bagels is that they are boiled in water for a while before being baked. This makes the bagel very dense and chewy and perhaps gives the illusion of it being more filling. Super fun fact though: Bagels originate from Poland! It’s debated, but they sure weren’t born in North America, but in fact probably introduced by the large Jewish population there.
Today, The Gulf Bagel Factory, surprised me with a box of warm, fresh, bagels big enough for me to host a brunch party with. I was surprised to see the array of flavors int here, ranging from onion, blueberry, raisin, chocolate swirl, sesame seeds, onion seeds, multigrain, and I’m sure more that I’ll identify once I eat them! The first thing I did (after painting the bagels like a French model), was slather some Philadelphia cheese on a multigrain bagel, and the second was asking my mom to mail me my OC DVDs.
Pictures of the box of bagels were instantly sent to my sister over whatsapp, and now I am sinking my teeth into the blueberry bagel. I think I’ll go for the onion bagel next. Oh Yum.
Thanks Gulf Bagel Factory. I’m officially hooked now. Good thing they’re available in Waitrose, Starbucks, Costa, Caribou and even in the Emirates lounges, last I checked! I’m really loving this and better pay the store a visit soon!