This is the only bread I will eat. I was brought up on it and love it. Since moving to Aberdeen it is very difficult to get this bread and when I see it I buy in bulk. Have you noticed though the slices in thick sliced loaf are getting thinner, which means you can't toast them as they go like crispbread. I like my thick sliced to be thick sliced.
The supermarket shop can get quite monotonous at the best of times and the worst thing is not knowing what else to buy for a change. How many of us buy the same brands week in week out without giving it a second thought..? I'm sure everyone is guilty of this. I normally buy Morrisons own label wholemeal bread simply because it tastes good and is cheap. However, whilst shopping today, I thought I'd have a change. Instead of my usual bread, I opted for a loaf of 'Burgen Soya and Linseed' bread, mainly because it sounded intriguing and was reduced in price from £1.17 to 87p.
Burgen was not a brand I was that familiar with until recently. However, according to the company's website, the Soya and Linseed loaf has been sold in the UK since 1997, so is fairly well established. Since its introduction nine years ago, the Burgen brand has grown in popularity and as consumers have begun to embrace the importance of a healthy lifestyle, the brand has really taken off.
WHAT MAKES BURGEN DIFFERENT?
Burgen's Soya and Linseed loaf is no ordinary wholemeal bread. It is packed with natural grains, such as wheat and linseed, and is rich in calcium and high in fibre. However, that, in itself, does not make it remarkably different from any other bread. What makes it really different is that it is a low-GI bread. GI or Glycaemic Index is a measure of how quickly our bodies absorb different carbohydrates. A low-GI bread is therefore one which sustains steady blood sugar levels to help you feel fuller for longer. Much has been said about the health benefits of low-GI foods in recent years by experts and dieticians, and most agree that such foods are highly beneficial to health.
As well as being a low-GI food, Burgen Soya and Linseed bread prides itself on being a rich source of plant oestrogens which may prove beneficial to women's health.
The packaging has changed from the white and blue wrapper pictured above to a more neutral clear plastic bag with a plethora of grains and seeds scattered over the sides. A dark brown circular stamp, bearing the 'Burgen' name, is embossed across the front and sides of the packaging, and just underneath this are the words 'soya & linseed' in bold, orange writing. I think the packaging looks attractive and has a quality feel about it. It's always nice being able to see the bread inside for yourself, so you can get an idea of what it will be like before buying.
APPEARANCE & TASTE
When you first see the bread, you'd be forgiven for thinking that it was white rather than brown. The bread is a strange colour - a shade somewhere between white and brown. There are lots of differently coloured seeds within the bread itself and it looks very tasty.
The bread is ideal for sandwiches or toasting. It tastes like a normal wholemeal bread, but is a lot more grainy and malty in taste. The seeds and grains give it a pleasant texture, although the seeds do tend to get stuck in your teeth, which can be a bit annoying!
The bread is light and quite fluffy - not stodgy like some breads can be. This means that you can eat several slices and still not feel full.
Energy - 110 kcal (calories)
Protein - 6.4g
Carbohydrate - 11.9g
Fat - 4.0g
Fibre - 2.7g
Sodium - 0.12g
Salt - 0.31g
Calcium - 106mg (13% of Recommended Daily Allowance)
A daily serving is 4 slices.
The bread contains wheat, soya and gluten. If you are allergic to any of these, it is best not to eat.
The bag states that the bread should be stored in a cool, dry place, although refrigeration is not advised. The bread can be frozen but should be eaten within 3 months of the date of purchase.
PRICE AND AVAILABILITY
Burgen bread is very widely available and you will find it in all the main supermarkets, where it retails for £1.17. This is a lot for a loaf of bread, although you will often find it on a special offer, so it pays to make the most of these.
I cannot recommend this bread high enough and it is probably one of the nicest breads I have tasted in many years. However, it is expensive - and too expensive, in my opinion. I will definitely buy it again, but will probably wait until I next see it on special offer.
If you need any more information, write to:
Customer Services Manager,
Customer Helpline: 0800 197 0049
I was born and raised in Scotland, and there was only one type of bread that was used in our household..................
Mother's Pride's Scottish Plain.
In fact strange as it seems, as a child I was'nt aware of any other bread as it seemed that just about everyone bought and ate only this bread.
It's great for sandwiches as the texture is so good you can spread it easily without it breaking,
It is really nice when toasted especially with cheese mmmm................... and is great served with soup.
It has a lovely fresh taste and texture and is naturally rich in protein with 15% more than ordinary white bread per 100g, so it's very good for you too.
It is a truly 'Scottish' product, and until a few years ago was rarely found south of the border.
Mothers Pride remains the Nation's favourite and is the number one bread brand in Scotland and is one of Scotland's leading brands overall, with over half the share of the plain bread market.
This bread has been baked in Scotland for nearly forty years and the product has a long and proud association with Scotland.
The familiar tartan wrapping of this much-loved Plain loaf has become an officially recognised tartan and was registered with the Tartan Society on 1st June 1996.
The Mothers Pride tartan is used on the packaging of the range of Mothers Pride Scottish bread and bakery products.
I recommend you try it, its really nice!
Since I bought my self a bread-making machine in the last January sales, I have a mania for making bread. The bread maker comes complete with many recipes which I?ve tried and I must say I was very disappointed with them, all the loaves seemed to taste very sweet and the texture was heavy. The instructions said I needed an exact amount of sugar to act with the yeast in order to make the bread rise. When I was doing my weekly shop in sainsburys, I noticed on the self they had some bags of bread mix, so I took a closer look. There were quite a few different types and they all looked very interesting. The bread mixes come in 500gram bags and are mainly a beige colour. They contain very thing you need (except water of course). All the weighing is done for you, which is very important in bread making. The white basic bread mix contains: - Wheat Flour, Yeast, Salt, Vegetable Fat, Chickpea Flour, Emulsifier, E472e, Dextrose, Flour Treatment Agents: Ascorbic Acid (Vitamin C). I use 250 grams for each loaf. To this you add 160ml of tepid water. If you are using a bread maker, you simply place the water in first, then add the mix and pop it in your machine. If you are making it by hand, you just mix by hand or by food mixer for 5 minutes, then rest it for 5minutes. You then knead it for 2 minutes and mould it into balls and leave it to rest again for 5 more minutes. Remould into the shape you want it and leave it to rise in a warm place for 30 ? 40 minutes. Then bake it on reg. 8 on the lower shelf for 30 minutes. The whole process is time consuming but it is so worth it. The bread is crusty and the texture is so light and soft and the taste delicious. Sainsburys make the mixes in many different verities, all costing 75p per 500gram bag. There is Cheese and Onion, Sunflower, Parmesan & Sun Dried Tomato, Honey and Seed and Mixed Grain. I have tried all of these and they are all lovel
y. My favourite is the mixed grain and it?s better than any shop bought granary loaf I have ever bought. You can buy mixes for ciabatta and focaccia bread too. You can also get little sachets of different flavourings, made buy Allinson and you just add these to the basic white mix. You can also make delicious pizza bases out of it as well. One of the best things about these mixes are they don?t go stale in a few days like bread. You can keep them in the cupboard for quite some time. Each pack has a use by date on it, so they are really handy even just to keep for emergencies. You never know when you might suddenly run out of bread. When using a bread machine it is best to only use 250 grams of mix at a time unless you have a large machine. I used a whole 500-gram bag once; it rose too much and stuck its self to the inside of the lid even though the machine claimed to take that size loaf. The only down side, apart from the time factor if your making it by hand is the loaf doesn?t keep fresh for as long as shop bought bread, but it?s so easy you can make it fresh every day if you like.
Sainsbury's Own Brand Gluten Free Bread Oh my heavens. I have often thought of taking a newly purchased loaf of Sainsbury's GF Bread, and offering a slice to the manager of my local store. The product is not at all nice to eat. It is dry, and falls apart when cut. Gluten free bread is not the easiest thing to get right, I will admit. However, I don't see why those of us who have to maintain a GF diet should be offered food that is hardly edible. I assert that persons able to eat gluten would not choose to eat this bread, therefore we should not have to expect to be offered it. True, I don't have to buy something that I don't like. I do feel though, that standards are not maintained when specialists food are concerned. When the food is 'difficult' it seems somehow acceptable to bring a sub-standard product to the shelf. I applaud Sainsbury's Pasta products, and their attempts at Fish Fingers and Chicken Nuggets, though I do question their somewhat restricted availability. Buy this product once, just to prove that it is how I say it. Then write an email to Sainsbury's and join me in saying - it's not good enough!
I've always preferred the taste of wholemeal bread for a sandwich, but usually used to buy white for one main reason: commercially available pre-sliced wholemeal bread was often very, very dry, and seldom very soft. I only got the texture and freshness I wanted if I bought unsliced from a bakery, and would then find myself eating huge doorsteps due to my lack of bread-cutting expertise, which did not improve with practice. I have now, however, discovered sliced Kingsmill Gold Wholemeal, and no more do I need to drive off to a traditional bakers shop or embarrass myself with my cutting clumsiness. Kingsmill Wholemeal Gold is made by Allied Bakeries (who also own Allinsons and Burgen). It is a thick sliced pre-packaged loaf and is available in most supermarkets. The first thing to strike you about Kingsmill Wholemeal Gold is that it is very soft indeed. When grabbing it off the supermarket shelf, you have to do so by the sticky out bit at the end of the packaging, or your fingerprints will be embedded in your sarnies. The second thing to strike you is that, for a wholemeal bread, KWG is quite pale. It is more of a golden colour than the usual dark brown of wholemeal loaves. At first I thought it looked a bit anaemic, but when I tried it I discovered that what it lacks in hue it does not lack in taste. This bread is gorgeous. It has a slightly nutty, slightly branny, slightly toasty flavour. Where some wholemeal loaves can be totally overpowering (Hovis Wheatgerm and Hi-Bran to name but two), this one is definitely wholemeal but nicely subtle about it. The bread complements both sweet and savoury sandwich fillings without masking the taste of their contents, but at the same time it is hearty enough to stand up to a strong, rich filling too. It toasts brilliantly and makes a lovely nutty bread and butter pudding. Another huge advantage KHG has over other wholemeals is that it stays fresh and soft for ag
es. I find that it's still really nice after 4 or 5 days in my bread bin, whereas other breads need to be slung after only 48 hours. This could be because the bread has slightly more vegetable fat than other breads (2.9g per 100g), or because it contains Calcium Propionate (added to inhibit mould). Until I started eating this, I was a firm believer that some snacks, like a chip buttie or bacon sandwich, could only be eaten on white bread, but I've now changed my mind big time. At 85p for a 800g loaf, KHG isn't the cheapest on the market, but for me it is by far the best. And when you consider that there's no wastage due to it going off, it works out very good value in the long run. The only downside is that every supermarket in my area sells out of the stuff rapidly and sometimes I'm unable to get hold of it. If you love wholemeal bread for its taste, then this one will certainly suit you. If you hate wholemeal bread for its dryness, overpowering branniness and speed of going off, this one will suit you too.
Let me see. Um, well, there's bread, bread and then there is bread. Huh? I hear you say. I will explain whats what. Firstly, theres bread - common or garden variety, it can range from a cheap and nasty economy sliced steamed-as-opposed to baked dough (or should I say "doh"?). This is the bottom of the range and only for the desperate non-discerning bread eater. Secondly, there is the more palatable middle-of-the range bread. Usually of the uncut variety, these can include granary loaves, bloomers, sandwich loaves, baps, finger rolls and any other bread you would slot into the 'average' run-of-the-mill (literally!) space. You know, the type you might use to pack up a picnic. Thirdly, we come into the gourmet variety of bread, which covers a wide range, costs that little bit more and has a taste to compensate for those extra pennies. These are my faves:- Daktyla~~~ A superior bread of Greek extraction, with a dubious spelling so please do feel free to correct me if you know better and I will alter it! This bread Looking like a large slightly squashed caterpillar. It consists of conjoined segments of bread coated in yummy sesame seeds and sometimes a few caraway seeds as well. You tear off a segment and split it in half, it then looks like a finger roll. Looks like one but doesn't taste like one to any degree. What you get is a moist, yeasty heavy bread, filled with a fresh flavour and perfect for dipping in taramasalata, tzatziki or houmous - yummy! I think it is made with olive oil which would explain the heavy quality of the bread, which can form a deliciously satisfying part of a meal. Croissants~~~ Lovely buttery frivolous semi-sweet rolls, not exactly healthy but a wonderfully naughty treat! Grodzinski Rye Bread~~~ Semi-sweet, with caraway seeds and the delicious flavour of rye, this bread needs to be carefully eaten or it can cause aw
ful indigestion. It is another heavy bread and needs to be eaten in moderation or it sits in the stomach like a cricket ball! Onion Bagels~~~ What is it with me and 'heavy' bread? I don't really know, perhaps it is that satisfying quality it has. Bagels are yummy toasted or not, spread with crean cheese topped with a sliver of smoked salmon is my favourite use for an onion bagel, or filled with cheddar and zapped in the microwave so that the cheese goes runny and the full aroma of the onions develops. Ciabatta~~~ How could I have forgotten this amazing bread first time around? It has a unique flavour and texture, slightly chewy with a crumbly-in-the mouth yummyness. Give me the sunshine, a table in the garden, freshly picked tomatoes, boursin or wafer thin slices of cheddar, some fresh basil and ciabatta (with butter of course) and I am indeed in my element and at one with the world - at least until I have to shift to wash up etc. Don't forget to tear the basil over the tomatoes chopping just isn't the same, then sniff your minty fingers and enjoy the aroma! There are so many different breads I would call speciality, however some have slipped my mind. I will add them as I recall them. Thanks for reading!
One of the best aromas in the world is bread baking in your own oven. If you haven't had a try at bread-making, Sainsbury's mixes are an excellent way to start. Our weekend breakfast is very often bacon sandwiches in ciabatta (with hoisin sauce - try it instead of ketchup or mayo!) and we prefer Sainsbury's organic part-bake ciabatta. Finding the shelf empty, my husband looked around and found the ciabatta mix on a nearby shelf. He likes to cook - in fact sometimes I have to fight him for the kitchen, so I said OK, you do it then. And just to try, we bought a pack of the garlic and rosemary foccacia mix too. Both turned out extremely well. Of course, it takes time, so don't think this is an answer to finding you're out of bread half an hour before guests due to dinner. You need a couple of hours, but most of this is the rising. Meanwhile you can get on with other cooking, housework, having a shower, checking your email or playing ball with the cats - the reverse of playing ball with a dog because you retrieve it. The foccacia is delicious with soup (the home-made carrot and coriander you made when the bread was rising) or more originally as a pizza base. Roast some onions,peppers and tomatoes with a dose of the best olive oil, sprinkle with italian herb mix and combine with goats cheese, blobs of mascarpone and mozzarella cheeses for an amazing explosion of tastes in a pizza topping. The ciabatta seems to come out with a softer crust than ready-made, but we think that our small oven is not up-to-temperature and will try the fan oven next time. If you have one of these outdoor BBQ ovens, the results might be even better. The taste is excellent. We will be trying the other mixes in the range in due course, I think there are two or three others - will edit in my findings. The mixes have good clear instructions although you might need specs to read them as the packets are small. We think they are
pretty foolproof, so have a go and enjoy the results. You might never buy bread again! Re. Breadmakers. The packets say refer to breadmaking machine manufacturers instructions. The mixes need rising/proving and 'knocking back' more than once. I don't have a breadmaker - can they cope with this? For foccaccia you would still have to do the last bit in the oven anyway I should think.
Or at least according to the hymn. I personally think this is quite possible. I mean if you consider the fact that I’ve written 3 pages just on just garlic bread, you could eat and eat for weeks and never run out of new varieties. You might be astounded, amazed or even just quite scared if you knew how much garlic bread I eat. On it’s own, or with a meal, for a snack at lunch or tea or when out shopping, I can’t get enough of the stuff. There’s a lot more to garlic bread than slathering a wedge with a bulb and this is where this op comes in – to educate you as to the wonder that is this specialist bread. ********************* **** EATING OUT **** ********************* There are very few Italian restaurants in the UK which don’t offer some sort of garlic bread, and it’s increasingly becoming more available in other types of eatery too. The type and presentation varies greatly though, and depending on where you go to eat you can chose from: 1. Garlic Pizza a la Tiggis: a normal pizza base slathered in garlic butter, this has to be my favourite sort. The best I’d had comes from Tiggis, a small northern chain, but the majority of small independent restaurants also serve it like this, especially if they’re run by real live Italians. 2. Ciabatta a la Café Uno : another chain but this time national, Café Uno do the best ciabatta garlic bread in Manchester. Theirs is a small roll sliced in half lengthways and spread with garlic butter although other places do loaves too. 3. Slices a la Pizza Hut : this is the way most fast food and semi-fast food places serve theirs, slices cut from a French loaf and either grilled or just heated and topped with the good stuff. Not exactly gourmet, but nice enough, and Café Nova’s in particular are especially nice. 4. Dough Sticks a la Bella Pasta : I can never thank this chain enough for changing their menu t
o include these because they are so delicious. Long batons of dough are drizzled with a light garlicky oil and sprinkled with herbs. Mmmmm 5. Full baguette a la Seafarers Restaurant : I do realise that most of you won’t know this place since it’s a tiny independent take away in my home town, but it’s the only place I’ve known to do this. They have a small French stick slit several times and filled with garlic butter. Much like the ones you’d buy in Tesco or Sainsburies, it tastes that much nicer because someone else has cooked it for you. 6. Calzone a la Babylon : another place of which you might not have heard, Babylon is a Pizza place along the ManMet strip on Oxford Rd in Manchester. Their Pizzas are normal but their garlic breads are folded over Calzone style and are truly scrumptious. 7. Naan a la anywhere in Rusholme : or any Indian restaurant anywhere for that matter. These are often lighter (and a lot less greasy) than in other places, and the garlic flavour can be more subtle but still ample. 8. Thick base a la Little Chef: these cannot be counted as the same as pizza bases because the bread part is entirely different. It’s supposed to be fluffy but usually it’s just heavy. The one I had at weekend was edible but not outstanding. ********************* *** SUPERMARKET *** ********************* Numerous shops from M&S to my little 8 till Late sell garlic bread to some degree. Or maybe to some quality. There’s a huge differerence between the gorgeous M&S stuff and the rather cardboardy Spar versions. Overall though you have a choice from: 1. Dough balls : M&S do large fresh ones, Tesco small frozen ones. Both are yummy and cook in 4 minutes or fewer. 2. Pizza Bases : there are several different types of these – frozen and fresh, deep pan and thin and crispy, so there should be one to suit you. 3. Stone baked :
Again M&S sell these all though they keep changing from 4 packs of small ones to large individual ones. Asda are also worth mentioning – for 98p you can have a fantastic accompaniment for a meal in the form of one of theirs. 4. Platters : these are similar to pizza bases but fluffier and more herby usually. Tesco do large ones for about 99p and also packs of small ones. They go great with salads as well as pasta and pizza dishes, and while you can eat them just as they are, I much prefer them heated up. 5. Part Baked: this type are ideal to keep in the house as they can be stored in a cupboard and just used when required. They usually come with the garlic already in side so you just have to pop them in the oven, although some versions require you to spread the butter yourself. 6. Baguette, slices and naan breads: just like those mentioned in the previous section these are also available from shops to cook at home. They can be frozen, chilled or dry packed, and there are lots of varieties available such as low fat, with cheese, tomato and/or mushrooms 7. Focaccia: the best focaccia I ever hand came from a little bakery in Riva del Garda, Italy. Combined with Nutella ice cream sundaes from Happy Days Gellateria next door, it was the prefect snack. It’s sold here but it’s missing something on the taste front. Still it is nice for a change – the bread is different from normal although I’m not sure how to describe it. If you’ve ever had it, you’ll know. 8. Microwavable: not a different type of bread, I know, but still worth a mention. McCain have recently launched micro-garlic bread to go with their micro-pizza and micro-chips. On the plus side it goes from frozen to piping hot in about 4 minutes. On the negative side, it comes out a bit rubbery. ********************* **** HOME MADE **** ********************* If, after all that, you can’
;t be bothered faffing around choosing which to buy from the frozen aisles at your local supermarket, why not have a go making your own. There are as many ways of making it as there are combinations of butter, garlic and bread, but my personal favourites are given below (sorry I can’t stretch to 8 again in this section): 1. Toast a crust of bread lightly on both sides. Remove from the grill (this next bit won’t work in a toaster) and spread everso lightly with butter. Sprinkle with garlic granules or garlic bread seasoning (both readily available even in my little local Tesco) and grill for a further minute or so until these start to go crispy. Eat at once. 2. Take a baguette, crusty French roll or ciabatta stick depending on how hungry you are. Slice in half lengthways and spread with butter on one side and garlic puree on the other. Seal the halves back together and wrap in sliver foil. Place in the hottest oven you can find and heat for about 5 minutes. Remove carefully, unpeel the foil and munch away. For a lower fat / more healthy alternative, use a drizzle of olive oil rather than butter. So there you have it. Over 1000 words on the wonder that is garlic bread. I’m quite beginning to scare myself now……
I suspect most people don't reall think of the humble muffin as a bread product, but bread it is. It is very easy to make muffins, if a touch time consuming. If for any reason you want to make bread on an open fire, it is one of the best breads to make. There are now a number of themes on a variation of muffin, as they follow the same trend as the American bagel, but more on that later. What is a muffin? Basically it's a bread roll that has been cooked in a short space of time over intensive heat. To make them at home, all you need is a basic bread recepie -strong flour, some fat, yeast, salt, sugar and water - nothing complex. I'm going to assume you can track down a bread recepie, or we could be here for some time. You follow the breadmaking process through, kneading, allowing the dough to rise, and then you do something a little different - form your muffin shapes (like a flat roll) and heat a frying pan, or, if you have one, a griddle. (Anyone else who re-enacts, a skillet on an open fire works very well.) You want your chosen implement of cooking to be very hot, and not to have very much fat in it. The idea is to cook your muffin, flipping it over to do both sides. It takes a while to get the timing right, expect to singe a few while you learn. In a decent sized frying pan you could perhaps do three at a time, but to make a decent sized batch takes quite a while. Effectively, its a fried bread, without too much fat. As I said at the top, the muffin is following the way of the bagel - Sainsburys now do a muffin with cheese and black pepper, for example. I have tried these, I don't mean to again. Yes, they are cheesey and peppery, but the effect is of hot sock, and that doesn't fill me with joy. I'm a bit of a purist really, but if you are making your own muffins, there's nothing to stop you putting anything you like in them. Eating the muffin: Shop bought muffins are best toasted - lightly
so that they go a golden brown. Tear them in half, don't cut them, if you can manage it. Always avoid the pre cut ones as they are as arid and unpleasant. Lots of butter is a must, and then whatever you like - so long as you buy plain ones you can adorne them with sweet or savoury toppings. Don't put jam on the black pepper ones, it really isn't good. If you make your own, the best time to eat them is when they come hot out of the pan. If you've got the cooking proces right, they should split easily with a little pressure from the thumb, to give you soft bread in the middle, and crusty muffin on the outside. Butter is best, but it really is up to you. The Vikings often made their bread in this sort of way - it saves the considerable effort of building and running an oven, and you do get your bread quickly. The effect of the quick cook is often that they do not rise as bread does in the oven, so you get a somewhat heavier, more intense sort of bread. They tend to taste a touch yeasty, and are very nice. You can make them brown, white, wholemeal or whatever - in shops you are only likely to see white ones. So, the not so humble muffin after all - an excellent, versatile bread product, ideal for light meals and snacks, and quite good fun to make yourself, if you have the patience.
Great recipe here mothers special quick recipe 2 cups wholemeal flour 1 teaspoon baking powder 1 teaspoon of cream of tarter 1 teaspoon of bicarbonate soda 1/2 tablespoon of sunflower oil 1- 1/2 cups of boiled water cooled pinch of salt put all ingrients together in bowl add water gently and mix (may need more water or less)so pour in carefully when mixed knead for a few mins shape into circle cross the top and place on greased baking tray put into a hot oven for 10 mins then turn down to 150 celsius and cook for 1 hour or until the knife comes out clean. Delicious serve hot or cold.Suitable for vegetarians.
Anyone who read my previous opinion will recognise this as the famous bagel opinion - hope it was worthwhile!! ____________________________________________ Dear Friend, I am writing to tell you about something very close to my heart. I hope it will touch you, as it has touched me. It is a very serious matter and should not be taken lightly. Please leave your comments after you have finished reading. Anyone who has read my opinion on Boston will know that I spent quite a few months there last summer. You would also know that I spent the first night in a hostel. It wasn't the most pleasant night's sleep. There were 10 of us in a tiny room (3 sets of bunk-beds and 4 gatecrashers on the floor) with no air-conditioning. That would have been bad enough, but it was 100 degrees Fahrenheit outside and the window was jammed shut. To say I woke up in bad humour is a major understatement. I made my way down to the hostel's lobby with my group (after having a shower, of course - I might have been moody, but I'm not smelly!). The trip co-ordinators announced that we were getting a free breakfast in a place just around the corner. As soon as I received my meal voucher I saw that it was for a bagel in Dunkin Donuts. "Dunkin Bloody Donuts!" I shouted. I was well annoyed. Despite this, I wasn't going to pass up the offer. I would probably be rejected by my Students' Union if they heard that I had refused free food - it goes against the ethics of student life. Five minutes later I was in the queue in Dunkin Donuts, purple meal voucher in hand. When it was my turn to order, I asked for a bagel. "What kinda bagel?" the girl replied. "What kind of bloody bagel", I thought?? The almost-edible kind! The girl must have seen my confused white Irish head and decided to help me "You want plain, poppy, sesame, onion, cinnamon, blueberry or egg?" "Plain", I said. It sounded like the safest option. "You want it toasted?" More questions! "Yes" I replied. "What k
inda cream cheese you want?" What kind of cream cheese? "Plain" I tried. It seems to be the right answer, because finally she went away. By the time I had gotten over the shock of being asked 100 questions just to buy a piece of bread, she had returned and handed me a bag in return for my voucher. I sat down and took the bagel out of the bag, put on the cream cheese and took a bite. "My God, it's delicious", I thought. It was so warm, crunchy, runny, sweet, savoury and mouth watering. I had lost my bagel-virginity and it was worth the wait. For the next five minutes I could think of nothing more that the delectable piece of culinary delight in my hands. But it wasn't enough. I wanted more. I had tasted the good life, and I wasn't giving it up. I went straight to the counter and ordered another. This time I tried a sesame bagel. I paid for it, this time with hard cash and quickly sat down. The second time was better than the first - none of that awkwardness that you feel when you take your very first bite. It was heaven and I loved every minute of it. Almost every time I felt that hungry feel deep down in my stomach, the first thing that came to mind was a bagel. It wasn't enough to sample different types of savoury bagels anymore - soon I found myself hooked on the sweet ones too. And I loved them all - cinnamon, strawberry, blackberry, blueberry, banana and - my favourite of all - cranberry and walnut. That wasn't all. Soon I found myself deviating for the plain cream cheese. I tried veggie, sun-dried tomato, peanut butter, and strawberry, among others. There was no limit to what I would try and how far I would go to get the perfect bagel experience. By the end of the summer, I found that my diet consisted of a coffee and bagel for breakfast, a coffee and a bagel for lunch, and a proper dinner. My friends began to notice that I was loosing weight. My clothes were becoming looser and I found that I had more energy. I was feeling better
about myself and I knew my life would never be the same - all because of the bagel. ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ But what is a bagel? It's a type of bread that is shaped like a donut - a round yeast roll with a hole in the middle, malt rather than sugar, cooked in water, and then browned in the oven. This process produces a dense, chewy roll with a crisp exterior. It comes in a variety of flavours, some of which are mentioned above. Really, you can put anything into a bagel. What's the best way to eat a bagel? It can be eaten as it is, but tastes much better when toasted until golden brown. It is also delicious when you spread something on it - cream cheese, butter, mustard, laughing cow or even jam - whichever you prefer. What mealtime is it most suited to? Anytime! It is most popular at breakfast time, but can be enjoyed at other mealtimes too. It is a quick and easy snack to make. Where can I buy a bagel? Most of the large supermarkets like Tesco now stock them. A number of convenience shops that have deli counters, or that bake their own fresh bread have them. Also, places like Dunkin Donuts sell them too. How much do they cost? Prices range anything from 20c to £2.00 and beyond. This depends on where you buy it, and what comes with it (for example, cream cheese or a garden salad). How long do they stay fresh? Bagels only stay very fresh for a few hours. It is possible to freeze them on day of purchase, then defrost them and toast them as required. ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ Now that I am back in Ireland, I have had to relax my bagel obsession. It got tired of them and I don't think that my obsession was hurting those close to me. The only reason was that they are not as readily available in Ireland - there isn't an Au Bon Pain, a Dunkin Donuts or a Finagle a Bagel on every corner. I us
ually have to go to Tesco to buy them. This does not mean that I will ever forget the good times that I have shared with bagels - how could I? The point of writing this opinion is to get you to eat bagels. Tell your friends, colleagues, family - hell, tell your enemies! I'm sure that everyone who tries them will be hooked. Soon there will be bagels shops everywhere and I can once again live out my bagel fantasies, and be proud to be a bagel-addict. Please do it for me, do it for yourself - do it for MANKIND!! Spread the word - long live the bagel!!! Until next time - be happy, eat bagels. Yours truly, Frank (Darkchild_ie)