Tuesday, August 9, 2011


It's been almost a year since our friend's husband somehow met a Russian man who had lived in New York a long, long time. This prodigal son just happened to be a baker. And he learned, in New York, how to make bagels.

For me, bagels are the thing I forget that I miss until I have a real one (aka NOT Lender's). So last fall I ran a test order for the Consulate and our CG sponsored a "Bagel Day" morning so everyone could enjoy the treats. The bagels of that first batch were ginormous. Although I thought the taste was great, the slightly off texture distracted Terry too much to love them.

The next couple of orders I ran - every few months as even the bagel lovers need a bit of time to want them again - we held off. This last week we decided to try again and oh! what a good decision that was. They have clearly been tweaking their recipe and although still not quite chewy enough for a true New York aficionado, they are soooo close it isn't really even worth saying anything about it.

We had some issues with the delivery guy and in the end the partner of the guy I'd been working with brought the bagels on his way to another delivery. When he tried to explain where they had moved - way out by Peterhof - he told me they had gone "Upstate. Well, not exactly like upstate..."

I kinda seriously love these guys.


Anonymous said...

Do you know that bagels used to be a common thing in the Russian Empire and quite uncommon in the USA until early 20th century since people who make them emigrated en masse along with their craft.

Also, what is your opinion on бублики, which happen to be closely related to bagels?

Oh, and there is a place that serves bagels and has a guy from Brooklyn that makes them, but it might be too full of hipsters and too keen on playing witch house for your liking: http://broolocal.com/

Lynne said...

Thanks for the factoid! I had not known of the bagel's origins although Russia doesn't surprise me.

The thing about Brooklyn Bagel is you can't just buy a pack of bagels to take home and toast, butter, cream cheese & smoked salmon as you like.

Personally, I find бублики drier and a bit blander than bagels, but everyone has their own preferences!

Anonymous said...

Really depends on бублики's freshness, the supermarket ones often are stale. And for obvious reasons they never come in all those different flavours bagels do (cinnamon and raisin bagels are my favourite, although a bit unorthodox).

Lynne said...

Any recommendations for good, fresh бублики in Piter?

Anonymous said...

Large bakeries usually have shops of their own, sometimes quite close to the actual factories, and since Russian logistics make sure that transporting a batch of bread within a city takes several days (not really, it's actually supermarket policies that make bread products stale) the shops normally have fresher products.

Каравай's main store is located here (at A) http://maps.google.com/maps?q=%D0%9A%D0%B0%D1%80%D0%B0%D0%B2%D0%B0%D0%B9,+%D0%A0%D0%BE%D1%81%D1%81%D0%B8%D1%8F,+%D0%B3%D0%BE%D1%80%D0%BE%D0%B4+%D0%A1%D0%B0%D0%BD%D0%BA%D1%82-%D0%9F%D0%B5%D1%82%D0%B5%D1%80%D0%B1%D1%83%D1%80%D0%B3,+%D0%9F%D0%B5%D1%82%D0%B5%D1%80%D0%B1%D1%83%D1%80%D0%B3&hl=en&ie=UTF8&sll=56.338911,-2.798925&sspn=0.07374,0.148315&vpsrc=0&z=11

Personally, I prefer Каравай's бублики over Хлебный Дом's offerings, (that phrase looked absolutely insane) but the latter do have 3 shops of their own, which is a bit of an advantage:

Oh, and also a strange factoid: Семья shops always have staler бублики than Дикси.