“Vegan?” she exclaimed. “How can these bagels be vegan? Is everything turning vegan these days?” The little green circular sticker was there, adhered to the otherwise nondescript package of bagels from Whole Foods. It prominently read in all caps, “VEGAN.”
“Wait,” came his response, “I think that’s like when Stolichnaya started marketing their vodka as ‘gluten free.’ But vodka is naturally gluten free.”
The couple squabbled about it over coffee and eggs — and those VEGAN bagels — until Mr. Google had to step in. Turns out that bagels (similar to focaccia and pizza dough) are made of lean dough — dough without any fats. Just water, yeast, flour, salt and maybe some sugar. Voilà, you have a lean (fat-free) dough, that also happens to be vegan.
Now you know.
Foods (and those manufacturers) will do about anything to jump on the latest food-trend bandwagon. Not that we’re saying veganism is a trending bandwagon like bellbottoms or an Oprah book. Or are we? Nonetheless, bagels, in all their vegan glory, have been wildly popular with one crowd or another since their invention in 17th century Poland.
When we discovered a bagel joint here in the Monument area (not a corporate Walmart or Einstein Bros.) we got jazzed. We, too, love a good bagel and brunch is one of our favorite meals of the day (talk about food bandwagons), right up there with breakfast and dinner. (Dearest lunch, why are you so boring?)
Off we skipped on a sunny Wednesday morning to Buzz’n Bagels.
“I’ll have the breakfast bagel, bacon and cheddar. The lox on sourdough with the chive schmear. Don’t you just love saying ‘schmear’? You have a French toast bagel? Yes, one of those for sure, with the honey-almond cream-cheese, please.” Three bagel creations spanning the spectrum. We couldn’t get too carried away.
By the way, that French toast bagel with honey-almond cream cheese was on point.
So, turns out that Buzz’n (think honeybees, not coffee — not sure why; should have asked) Bagels doesn’t actually make bagels. They import them daily from Olde World Bagel & Deli; that one waaaaaay down there by the World Arena. So, while we reserve our highest accolades for Olde World (killer sandwiches of all stripes), we also know that not everyone is willing to drive a half hour south for a fix of bagel and schmear. (So fun to say.)