Russ and Daughters

December 1, 2011

More NYC coming at you! And what is more quintessentially New York than bagels?

In Australia, I feel we are really lacking in not only our bagel access, but our bagel appreciation. Perhaps this poor bagel appreciation is, in fact, due to our lack of awareness, which is in turn a result of our lack of access. It’s a vicious cycle.

Until I was in New York this past August, I did not truly understand the appeal of the bagel – again, I blame this on poor bagel access, or rather, poor access to quality bagels. Perhaps I should create a committee devoted to this single task…

We don’t really ‘do’ bagels here. They’re a novelty, when they really shouldn’t be. Nutritionally they’re not they best option, lacking in important wholegrains. But for a weekend brunch? I quite fancy that.

Vicki, Peta and I visited Russ and Daughters in the Lower East Side for a bagel fix one morning. Russ and Daughters have been selling beautiful smoked fish, caviar and other top quality goods for almost 100 years. It’s an institution in New York, and boy was it a treat to visit their store.

I ordered a Plain Bagel with Cream Cheese and Smoked Irish Salmon. It was, quite simply, pure bagel brilliance. I had no idea that this delightful, doughy, risen form could be chewy, dense and light – all at the same time. Even as I type, I cannot believe it to be true. But it was. That’s the beauty of a good bagel. And the toppings were utter perfection – the best smoked salmon I’ve ever sampled.

I now know what a true bagel means. It means comfort, satisfaction and joy – a new association with a familiar sentiment, similar to my feelings towards vegemite toast. I quite fancy that.

We sat outside on a little bench and delighted in our fresh bagels. Good bagels. Proper bagels. My appreciation started here…

Heidi xo

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  • Heavenly Ingredients December 1, 2011 at 7:29 am

    love bagels! In England you can find little bagel stands all over the place, and pick up all sorts of bagels and coffee before getting on a train. Not sure they were quite as authentic as these though. yum.

  • denitapreston December 1, 2011 at 9:05 am

    Heidi this bagel looks absolutely divine!!! Smoked salmon is so delicious with such strong flavours.. so the thickness of bagels are such a perfect match! I want this now (even though I've just had lunch). Perhaps I will make this for lunch tomorrow πŸ™‚
    American calls for your presence!! Love De xx

  • Ben C December 1, 2011 at 9:13 am

    Have you tried any of Glick's bagels? They're probably one of the closest I've had compared to the US.

  • Michelle Chin December 1, 2011 at 9:55 am

    i like noisette's bagels. my favorite is blueberry and cranberry!

  • Lisa December 1, 2011 at 12:39 pm

    We are super lucky to have an excellent bagel place in Canberra. That perfect combination of light, dense and chewy. Of course this does mean they are so popular that you must get to the bakery early, but smoked salmon and cream cheese on a bagel is just a thing of beauty. Can't wait till the day I get to have a real NY one.

  • Julia @ Boredom Abounds December 1, 2011 at 2:51 pm

    Yum, that's my bagel topping choice as well. Even better with a bit of dill and some capers on top!

  • Leah December 1, 2011 at 3:27 pm

    I love a bagel with smoked trout, avo and cornichons. Oh dear now i want one….

  • Hannah December 1, 2011 at 3:39 pm

    There actually is a company that makes proper, proper bagels here in Canberra, so for most of high school my afternoon tea was half a toasted bagel spread with Nuttelex. They do plain, cinnamon and raisin, walnut and raisin, blueberry, and sesame…. but oh how I wish they'd make a pumpernickel one like you can get in the States! I think I went to H&H; in NY, not Russ and Daughters. This looks fabulous πŸ™‚

  • Heidi December 1, 2011 at 6:21 pm

    Laura – oh fun! I remember seeing that in London, actually πŸ™‚

    De – I hear you calling & am so desperate to come!!! Miss you button. Yay for bagel brunch xo

    Ben – only the ones in the supermarket, ie not from a Glicks Bagel store. I think the ones I had were not super fresh. Must go to the store! There is one close by too, thanks for the tip!

    Michelle – ooooh I'd trust noisette! yum πŸ™‚

    Lisa – uuuuuuuhhhhhh sounds divine! Lucky you guys, I'm glad Canberra has yummy bagels on offer πŸ™‚

    Julia – I hear you and completely agree. Especially about the dill πŸ˜‰

    Leah – I'm so loving smoked trout lately! & cornichons are just the best (& so fun to say!) πŸ™‚

    Hannah – what a brilliant afternoon tea! Sounds perfect. I've never had a pumpernickel bagel and this saddens me – mission!! πŸ™‚

    Heidi xo

  • The InTolerant Chef December 1, 2011 at 9:39 pm

    Surely so much better than vegemite toast? Especially with smoked salmon and cream cheese!

  • Miss T December 2, 2011 at 5:47 am

    My sister is leaving for NYC TODAY, green with envy. Im going off to have a bagel (from Coles…) right now.

  • Christie @ Fig and Cherry December 2, 2011 at 11:10 am

    YES!! I never understood what people were banging on about in American TV shows until I tasted a proper NYC bagel. Holy cow, they are, as you say, indescribable. So good, even just plain with cream cheese. I'm craving one now!!!

  • Heidi December 2, 2011 at 5:02 pm

    InTolerant Chef – my beloved vegemite toast serves me so well when I'm unwell….I do love it so. But generally, yes! So much better πŸ˜‰

    Miss T – oooh jealous! Hope your bagel was yummy at least πŸ™‚

    Christie – yes! they're truly the best πŸ™‚

    Heidi xo

  • Sara - Belly Rumbles December 3, 2011 at 2:01 pm

    I sat on that exact same bench you did and marveled at the best bagel I have ever eaten. Love Russ & Daughters.

  • Iron Chef Shellie December 4, 2011 at 9:00 am

    damnnnn…. now all I can think about it fresh bagels, cream cheese and smoked salmon…. *drool*

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