September 16, 2005
I love a good bagel: what's not to like? Big, chewy, yeasty, and so generously sprinkled with interesting stuff for textural contrast. I like the top as much as the bottom, but the hole in the middle has to be the best part.
I first discovered bagels when we moved to the US, in the form of pre-sliced blueberry bagels from the grocery store -- I know, I know. We were addicted to them for a while, until one day we couldn't stand the artificial blueberry flavoring anymore -- such a betrayal of the dainty savors of the pretty berry -- and we switched to more orthodox and fresher versions. California is probably not the best part of the US for a bagel fan to live in (New York City, anyone?) but it beats Paris any day.
I had already experimented with several Parisian resources to fuel my bagel needs -- from the Jewish delis on the rue des Rosiers to Belleville, Lafayette Gourmet or even Picard -- and although they were acceptable substitutes, the bagels were never quite what I was looking for: too bready or too briochy or altogether bland.
And then someone tipped me off on the Bagel Store in the Marais, a small and bustling restaurant that serves NYC-inspired lunch fare, called Little Italy, Park Avenue or Delancey Street: sandwiches, salads, wraps and yes! bagels. Not just any old bagels either, H&H bagels, frozen and shipped from New York.
I was just returning from lunch myself so I didn't sit down to eat, but I bought a package of four poppyseed bagels (4.60€), the other varieties being onion, sesame, "everything" or cinnamon raisin. I was pleasantly surprised at how well they had fared through the freezing process and the whole let's-fly-over-the-Atlantic-in-an-insulated-crate thing. Droplets of moisture in the bag and the bagels' slightly smooshed silhouette were the only giveaways.
Thankfully, a quick toasting easily erased all traces of travel fatigue, and the four of them have now disapperared in various breakfast or quick-a-licious dinner concoctions.
31 rue de Turenne
01 44 78 06 05
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