According to my friend Izzy, who hails from Wisconsin, her father had never even heard of a bagel until he visited New York City for the first time in the seventies. Thankfully, news of the bagel has spread far and wide, and while New York still has the best bagels (not Montreal, contrary to the beliefs of my roommate) bagels are accessible to people in all cities.
One variation of the bagel, however, that non-New Yorkers may not have encountered thus far is the “flagel.”
The flagel is an ingenious idea, invented in New York at Tasty Bagel. Essentially, it is a flat bagel, and it is much easier to toast in a conventional toaster than even a split bagel half, especially now that traditional bagels have gotten bigger, at approximately 6 ounces, double the size of the original bagel.
One of the only problems with a flagel is that, because it is so flat, it is difficult to split, and it is therefore difficult to enjoy with cream cheese and lox, as so many of us do. If you don’t have the patience to split it (I find that a chef’s knife works nicely, although don’t use an expensive one if you enjoy flagels often, because it will quickly dull your knife), you can either place the cream cheese and lox on one of the seeded sides of the flagel, or just dip pieces of flagel in cream cheese. Either way, the flagel is quite delicious, and hopefully it will soon be as widespread as its ancestor.