I love Bagels and for the last 2 weeks i've had a Bagel for breakfast. I've had 3 different kinds. They were the brand named ones - New York Bagel Co, Asda's own bakery ones and these ones from Tesco. So which ones are better? Asda ones, but i'm here to review the Tesco ones.
These come in packs of 4 and cost me 95p last week. You also get these in just original flavour, but my favourite Bagels are Cinnamon and Raisin. I didn't taste the cinnamon at all, but there were 4-5 juicy raisins mixed through the dough.
These are quite thick and fat and I know you can eat them cold with filling in them, but I always just toast them and add some butter. I cut these in half and pop in the toaster. My toaster has a bagel setting, so it just toasts the inside and not the outside harder part.
I like these lightly toasted, so they're just light brown and I do like a lot of butter on them, but I have to spread it just when it comes out of the toaster so it melts.
Bagels are very low in fat, but the calories per Bagel is 220 calories, so when you add your spread then it could end up quite unhealthy.
So is the Tesco ones any good? Yes I guess. I found them a bit hard when I took them out the pack, but since I toast them then the soften and crisp up anyway. The date on these isn't that long, perhaps 4 days but that's normal with bread products. They are just wrapped in a simple bag wrapping.
Nice but I do prefer the Asda ones and you get 4 in Asda for 60p
I first had bagels while I was in New York and I really loved them, friends took us to a place in Brooklyn in the early hours of the morning after a nights clubbing and we all had a pretty big appetite and I remember having scrambled eggs some hash brwons and two gagels with cream cheese, one onion and one poppy seed.
When I got back to England I was keen to repeat the experience with some bagels however they are a bit hard to find so I was pleased to find that Tesco did as election of bagels and these Cinnamon and Raisin ones were one of the available flavours.
First of these were a million miles away in quality terms from those I enjoyed that morning in Brooklyn, the only way to eat these was to pop them in the toaster otherwise they just tasted horribly stale even if they had been baked that day. Th bread was far too soft and did not have the slightl chewy texture that the New York bagels had. I could not really detect any cinnamon flavour to them however there were a few raisins i the bread itself that gave it a slightly sweeter taste.
To be honest these were not very nice at all and I will not be repeating the purchase.
Oddly enough, I was introduced to bagels in Beijing of all places, where an enterprising Chinese lady with American connections recognised a niche in the market. Sure enough, the bagels were soon snapped up by westerners and even some Chinese. One I had tasted the cinnamon and raisin variety, I was hooked. Recent adverts for New York bagels jogged my memory and I have been searching for a replacement for the bagels I enjoyed so much in China. So far, I have tried Sainsburys and Tescos own cinnamon and raisin variety and have decided to review Tescos first.
What is a bagel?
According to Wikipedia, the bagel (or sometimes beigel) first originated in Poland and has Jewish origins. It made its way to New York in the 1880s, where it became popular before spreading across the world. It is made by mixing the dough, chilling it overnight and then boiling it before it is finally baked in a ring shape, which gives the bagel its unusual texture. Traditionally, sesame, garlic, onion or poppy seed were added to the crust of the bagel to give flavour, although a greater variety of flavours, including cinnamon and raisin and blueberry, are now available.
Opening the plastic bag in which the bagels come, I am pleasantly assailed by a cinnamon smell. The bagels look like a doughnut, both in size and shape, and are nicely plump. The outside of the bagel looks slightly waxy and feels quite hard to the touch. There is clearly a good sprinkling of cinnamon. However, cutting the bagel in half, the knife glides through the middle section easily. Each half has about six raisins.
I like mine lightly toasted on the sliced side only; the top and bottom of the bagel are already tough enough and dont need any toasting. I then spread with Flora.
Despite the initial cinnamon smell, there is very little cinnamon in the taste. The bagel is slightly sweet, but only very slightly, sweetened a little further by the occasional raisin. The texture is slightly dry on the inside and chewy on the outside; ideally, the centre should be more doughy and chewy than this. On the whole though, the Flora spread takes away from the dryness.
I am not going to list the ingredients, but there is some information worth pointing out. The main thing is that bagels are low in fat; there is less than 3% fat in each bagel. This doesnt mean that they are low in calories though; there are 223 calories in each and that is before youve added the butter or margarine.
Bagels, fairly obviously, contain gluten, wheat and yeast, so are not appropriate for anyone who is allergic to these ingredients. In addition, the bagels may contain traces of sesame seeds.
A bag of five bagels costs £1.05, which is a fairly standard price. New York bagels also make a cinnamon and raisin variety for exactly the same amount and price. I have also bought a bag of four bagels from Sainsburys for £0.95.
These are really not bad and I have thoroughly enjoyed having one for breakfast every day for the past few days. I would definitely like to see more cinnamon and raisins added I dont mind the lack of sweetness, but without extra cinnamon and raisins, there seems to be little difference between this and the plain variety. Im definitely going to have to learn how to make them myself.
I havent yet tried the New York bagels, but certainly compared to Sainsburys and the Chinese variety, the taste is fairly similar and all are lacking in cinnamon and raisins. I prefer the Tesco variety to Sainsburys though, simply because the Sainsburys ones are much flatter and wider, which makes them drier.
Apart from the need for more cinnamon and raisins, I can thoroughly recommend these bagels. They make a pleasant change from toast or cereal in the morning and keep me fuelled up nicely until lunchtime. Go easy on the margarine though!