There’s been the cupcake craze, the doughnut fad, the avocado toast obsession, and the reign of the cronut. But now one of the most classic, old-school foods is climbing to the top of food trend ladder: the bagel.
Everyone loves a bagel, except for the gluten-free crowd but sometimes gluten-free bagels exist too. So like I just said, everyone loves a bagel. Bagels are awesome because they are cheap, come in a wide range of sweet and savory flavors and can be topped with various spreads. But I’m not here to tell you things you already know. I’m here to support my claim that bagels are in fact the new black.
Bagels are basic, yet brilliant. They can be dressed up or down and they always look chic — whether they are plain or accessorized.
Bagels have always been this way, but here’s a little summary of the bagel’s recent reclaim to fame.
Black Seed Bagels opened in April and became an instant trend here in New York. I seriously had to delete Instagram for an hour *gasp* because of the influx of beet-cured lox in my photo feed. Then in June, I posted a photo of a birthday cake cream cheese bagel. Soon after (literally not even a day) the birthday cake cream cheese trend was born and Tompkins Square Bagels quickly jumped to the top of the trendy NYC bagel charts.
With those beautiful colors and the universal appeal of the bagel, food Instagrammers started to hop onto the bandwagon.
I gave into the hype! Birthday cake cream cheese on a plain bagel 😍 Btw, everyone needs to give a round of applause to @nycdining for making this new breakfast obsession go viral! #tompkinssquarebagels #bagels #funfetti #birthdaycake #creamcheese #breakfast #nyceats #nycfood #nycdining #eeeeeats #nycfat #thesweetlifeoflina #lowereastside #NYC
Although my friends call me “Viral Funfetti Bagel Girl” I don’t take full responsibility for this fad because this is the creation of Tompkins Square Bagels — I just ate it and posted a picture. But I do find it fascinating that my one photo made this trend come to life. What I learned the most from the birthday cake cream cheese bagel experience is a) how influential one photo can be in determining what people put into their stomachs and b) the great potential that bagels have as a such a versatile and universally attractive food.
This idea has been on my mind ever since. I think about food all the time. I daydream about different flavor combinations almost all of the time. During those daydreams, I think about bagels often. I took the birthday cake cream cheese bagel experience as a sign to act on these daydreams. So one Saturday morning while I was overly tired, hungry and watching Cake Boss, I started to brainstorm. I opened up Seamless because I was too lazy to move. With all the options on the page, I realized that I wanted buffalo chicken. But then I realized I wanted an everything bagel. I was torn, so I got both.
Bam. Viral Instagram.
And so then the Seamless buffalo chicken bagel experience inspired me to make my own bagel creation that no one could find in a restaurant. So I got some bagels, cream cheese and miscellaneous snacks and had myself a bagel creation party. I ended up making my own birthday cake cream cheese which was very easy — just add rainbow sprinkles (and a pinch of cake batter mix with water if you’re feeling super edgy) and mix it together.
I also ended up playing around with some savory flavors. My winning creation was my toasted egg bagel with Cheez-It infused cream cheese and tomatoes. Again, super easy. Take a block of cream cheese, add in some Cheez-Its and mix in a mixer while your bagel is toasting. Then slice a tomato and slap it on there. Total time: 15 minutes tops.
Once again, people were in awe of this new creation. And this is why bagels are awesome. You buy a bagel, add something to cream cheese or top it with whatever topping you think will complement it and all of a sudden you have produced a glorified, doughy sandwich booming with flavor. Lox and plain cream cheese will always be the foundation of the bagel world, but why be basic when you can go for brilliant? Or why not go for both? Or basic one day and brilliant the next?
Bagels are just basically brilliant. And that’s why bagels are the new black.