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The Daily Dish Top Chef

Pass the Wine Bagels! 7 Mashups That Don't Exist Yet But Should

In a world of everything-bagel donuts and burgerizzas, these mashup ideas deserve a shot.

By Jennifer Paull

The soaring popularity of Jewish food, plus our growing appetite for inventive hybrids, means it’s high time that bagels got some new twists. Bagels are already inspiring desserts, picking up new flavor combinations (beer bagels, anyone?), and getting the chef treatment with toppings like foie gras and ramps. They’re even getting mashed up with puppies.

How to Watch

Watch Top Chef Season 21 Wednesdays at 9/8c on Bravo and next day on Peacock.

So, who’s willing to experiment? Sorry, rainbow bagels are already taken, but here are some new bagel ideas we would love to try.

Coffee-infused bagels

Why not fuse the two essential breakfast ingredients so we can get our coffee and carbs in one bite? If you usually order your coffee “light and sweet,” let a swipe of butter melt into the toasted coffee-bagel, and add a few dashes of vanilla sugar.

Bàgel mì

Bàhn mì, the addictive Vietnamese sandwich, would be much easier to eat if the traditional airy baguette got swapped out for a chewy bagel. Just hollow out the bagel halves, and they’d do a better job than a baguette of containing the pork, pickled carrots, and cilantro when you take that first bite. (No more fillings spurting out the side.)

Everything cheesecake

No disrespect to the Everything Doughnut, but a more natural sweet-savory combination would be an everything-spiced cheesecake. The blend of toasted sesame seeds, poppy seeds, salt, garlic powder and flakes of dried onion could be mixed into the graham-cracker crust and sprinkled atop the cream-cheese filling. It’s a perfect excuse to have cake for Sunday brunch.

Beet bagels

Beets are the secret ingredient some expert bakers use in their chocolate cakes, to make the cakes super-moist. Couldn’t the veg lend that same tenderness to a bagel? Either way, the bagels would turn a bougainvillea pink color! For even more magenta, layer them with beet-cured lox from Black Seed.

Pimiento cheese bagels

The classic Southern spread, with its bright flavor of cheddar and cherry peppers, would be irresistible mixed into a bagel. The “caviar of the South” would wipe the deli floor with those namby-pamby Asiago bagels.

Old Bay bagels

Old Bay never met a type of seafood it didn’t like, so that secret herb-and-spice blend would surely be dandy paired with a few slices of smoked salmon. There’s a nice Jewish heritage connection, too, since the cult-favorite seasoning was invented by German-Jewish immigrant Gustav Brunn.

Cabernet bagels

Yes, Cabernet bagels. Don’t judge.

P.S. We’ve also been craving bagels with za’atar, the Middle Eastern spice blend of toasted sesame seeds, thyme, oregano and a citrusy hit of sumac. Luckily, you can find these at a few intrepid bakeries such as Bagel Grove, in Utica, New York. Swap your usual schmear of cream cheese for labneh (the thick, creamy strained yogurt) for an earthy-tangy-nutty taste trifecta. And pray that this bagel flavor catches on across the country.

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