A few weeks ago at Fairway, I bought cinnamon raisin bagels made by Glutino Foods to try. I had heard about their bagels for a while but hadn’t seen them in the stores until now.
Generally speaking I love Glutino Foods, their gluten-free, peanut and tree nut free products, especially the Gluten-Free Pantry line, have some real winners. I’ve worked with Glutino in the past and they have sent me samples in the past. So overall, a "Yay!" Glutino!
However, I’d love to see Glutino do just a little more homework on this one.
From the Glutino site: "Premium Cinnamon 'n Raisin Bagels - This California Style Cinnamon & Raisin Bagel is a perfect start to your day."
OK, so two questions: What’s a California style bagel? And why is this premium? Out of the bag, it arrives with a thud. That’s not right. And this bagel has definite hallmarks of being extruded from a mechanical tube, also not a positive sign. The bagel is highly processed, too many ingredients, some not recognizable and it tastes like it. “Ingredients: Corn mix (corn starch, skim milk powder, evaporated cane juice, salt, glucono-delta-lactone, pectin, sodium bicarbonate, sodium alginate, modified vegetable cellulose), water, tapioca starch, dried raisins, margarine (palm and palm kernel oils, soy lecithin), liquid yolks, skim milk powder, evaporated cane juice, liquid egg whites, safflower oil, cinnamon, guar gum, yeast, salt, thiamine, niacin, vitamin B6, riboflavin, iron, calcium.” When defrosted, warmed and toasted the cinnamon raisin bagel smelled right. I tried one piece with margarine and another with organic butter and regardless of which spread, the texture was off, the taste chalky with a slight aftertaste of milk powder. Not horribly unpleasant but not fantastic.
Today, I gave it one last shot and tried a toasted half with Philly cream cheese. This was the winner. The chalky under-taste disappeared or was masked by the salty spreadable cheese and I was taken back to a childhood filled with cinnamon raisin bagels with cream cheese. Happy, happy days.
So upshot: Despite their looks and their decidedly non-bagelness (bagels shouldn’t have that many ingredients nor be dense as a doorstop and I still don't know to what premium nor California refers), I gobbled them down once toasted with cream cheese. At 5.99 for five bagels is cheaper than the local varieties of gluten-free bagels available ($20 for eight for example) so I may be trying other varieties.
And meanwhile, Glutino, maybe a wee bit more R&D?