Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Bagels, bagels and more bagels

If Mr FF went on that show Mr and Mrs and had to answer the question what has your wife missed more than anything since moving to France he would have two answers - the theatre and bagels.

It is American Day at Lidl and I rushed there this morning and bought up as many as I could fit into my bag. If the sell-by date had been later than August I would have actually bought as many as could fit into a trolley. I don't have a huge freezer however and I could also then get bagel overload. You just never see bagels in this part of France. Perhaps they have them down south or perhaps in Paris but definitely not in Brittany.

Now bagel purists such as me know that there is nothing better than a freshly baked* one from a specialist deli. Look - I'm in the middle of the bleedin' French countryside - baguettes check; croissants check; une religieuse check; but bagels - uncheck. What I have bought will not be as lovely as freshly baked chunks of squidgy dough but they will still have that distinct bagel taste, made even more lovely by gentle toasting.

Each bagel is the same as two slices of bread in Weight Watcher points and a fine fine eat.

* I do actually have a fine recipe for them but if I were to bake them myself I would not have any control regarding consumption - yes, I am that weak.

46 comments:

Saz said...

wow..are they cheap in lidl then?? ususally about £1 for 4-5 in the
big supers? these have longer sell by dates dont they??

saz x

French Fancy said...

It's not that they are cheap, Saz - it's that they are here at all. I have never seen bagels in our bit of France in the seven years we have lived here. I'm not sure how much they were - about €1.25 a pack of three.

You lot in Britain take all this for granted

Frankofile said...

Yup, baking one's own is heavenly disaster! I miss the everyday choice of breads in the UK supermarket- pitta, ciabatta, foccaccia, good plain wholemeal.. and on my last trip over I discovered that oatcakes now come in delicious varieties. Things to put on the list for visitors coming over by car.

Alienne said...

I've never been a great bagel fan, though Lenin loves them. If I ever get to meet you I shall make sure I bring you some.

the fly in the web said...

Bagels..no, but I understand all too well what happens when you bake something you like...on go the kilos.
My excuse for not baking.
For me it's the proper bratwurst in Lidl at Christmas...

Steve said...

You know as vices go, bagels are pretty mild. I'd invest in a bigger freezer if I were you! ;-)

Dumdad said...

We love bagels! Especially filled with smoked salmon and cream cheese. If any friends are off to the UK we always ask them to bring back bagels.

Ayak said...

Ooh I'm with Dumdad on this...bagels with cream cheese and smoked salmon. One of our favourite lunches when I'm visiting my daughter in England.
We do have a fairly good substitute here called a simit which is vaguely similar in texture and covered with sesame seeds...but there's nothing quite like the real thing.

A Super Dilettante said...

Oh my dear, I didn't realise the bagels turn out to be rarities in Brittany. Now, the question is do you have a big enough freezer? Now I know what to give you present on the friendship day :) Lots of love xxx

PigletinFrance said...

I wonder if it's American Day at all Lidls in France? If I get chance later I'm going to check this out!

My Hubby's French and he lurrrvvveeeesss bagels! We often get them from lunch from a Bagel Coffee Shop but they're expensive (1.50 Euro each nature, or more like 6 - 7 Euros filled!). He even had a go at baking them once!

A bigger freezer sounds like a necessity!

ladyfi said...

Oh, I love bagels! We can get them in the frozen section, and I sometimes eat one for lunch when I'm near an Espresso House.

Jennysmith said...

Num, num, love a nice bagel. My happiest memory of them is coming out of a late showing of Batman (Michael Keaton) and buying one in Leicester Square about 4 in the morning. The best one I had ever tasted!!

1989 I think it was.
xxxx

W said...

We haven't had a decent bagel since living in New York. The best we've found in the Seattle area are the ones at the bakeries in Albertson's market - they cost 69 cents each.

C. Troubadour said...

I have missed bagels too! WAY too carby for the restrictions I have to follow -- I'd be able to have an eighth of one at best. But I did very recently find mini bagels made by Sara Lee that are "low carb." I treat myself occasionally -- they're still higher in carbs than other options.

Selina Kingston said...

Bagels....yummmmm! I have one toasted and buttered every morning and love varying between granary, sesame, poppy seed, onion, cinammon or blueberry. But nothing, nothing beats a plain one crammed with cream cheese and smoked salmon. Oh heaven! You poor thing not having them to hand. And this comment probably hasn't helped, eh???

Ed Pilolla said...

i read this as i munch on a combo bagel at a local coffee shop. i take for granted that i get to chose nearly every morning between a combo, plain or jalapeno cheese bagel. okay, i'll stop:)

when i was in paris for three weeks, sure, i just got my 'pan cereal' every morning. i could handle no bagels for three weeks. i feel for ya.

what is bagel overload? haven't ever visited that country.

Nora Johnson said...

Now why don't you ask yr nice local French boulanger if he'd run up a few bagel for you: "Just think, M Boulanger, this could turn out to be a nice little earner in these credit crunch times!"

Well, just a thought...

xxx LOLA & Nora:)

PS Love to the beautiful bichons.

Lane said...

No bagels?? Zut alors!

Glad you managed to stock up and looking at your photo that is a good haul.

I remember going to the late night bagel shop in Brick Lane for a smoked salmon and cream cheese. Bliss.

Vera said...

Methinks I am missing out on something here, only I have never had a bagel, so obviously have missed out on a delicious pleasure. So, forever after, I will keep an eye out in our local Intermarche (Can't be bothered to trudge out to the other supermarkets) to see if they ever get them in. Oh, and also in Carol's shop up in the village. But how about posting up a recipe? Hope you enjoy your bagels,.....and remember, a thin person ages quicker than a slightly plumper person- the skin gets all crinkly on a skinny person, but with a little bit of padding out, well, those crinkles don't show anywhere near as much!

willow said...

There used to be a bagel place down the road from us who had 1/2 price bagels on Wednesdays and Saturdays. Not only that, they had a drive-through window. WT got hooked on them and kept bringing masses of them home. I finally made him stop, after we were getting fat as pigs.

Veggie Carrie said...

Yum, bagels! When I go to Montreal I love eating fresh bagels. Montrealers claim their bagels are the best in the world, and I wouldn`t disagree. British bagels aren`t half as good.

http://www.stviateurbagel.com/main/

As you say though, in France you have baguettes and croissants, and I love Breton galettes too!

e said...

I live across the road from a specialty Bagel store...I wonder how they'd fare shipped???

Sorry I've not been visiting, will have more time as work ends this week...

Clarity said...

As I was reading the thought occured to me that if you are desperate I could send you some from the local Lidl.

Glad you got yourself a stash. While the cheapness appealed to me in my uni days, sadly the thick flour slabs landed like lead on my stomach. I prefer wraps now - so versatile.

Congrats on your weightwatchers progress doll, XX

Delana said...

Oh that's just great, FF. Now I've got something else to crave! We have a bagel shop here but they're expensive and I'm afraid to be disappointed. The best bagels are boiled first before being baked...gives them that chewy texture...and I'm sure that's not done here. But, a fresh warm bagel with veggie cream cheese. MMMMmmmm.....

Carol said...

I adore bagels too!! I can still remember the first time I had one...it was in the bagel shop just off Bethnal Green road and I had it freshly baked with salt beef on it. It was love at first bite :-)

Glad you've managed to get some

C x

Scarlet Blue said...

Oh. I was trying to be helpful by searching for a place in France where you could buy them. I googled 'French Bagel'... apparently this means something very rude in the Urban dictionary.
Sx

I won't link to it.

Laura [What I Like] said...

You poor thing! I feel that I ought to send you a care package from H&H...best bagels in New York. Although I must admit that once I found out exactly how many points were in a bagel and cream cheese I swore off of them for the most part. Now they are an occasional indulgence which is pathetic really.

Rob-bear said...

Well done, FF. You've finally got a supply of bagels that will last, what, a week or two?

Well, at least you've got a few to savour and treasure, while you have them.

French Fancy said...

Frankie - we can get ciabatta in our local Carrefour. I'm trying not to get it though because it goes so quickly - got to restrict bread really - the exception being BAGELS

Alienne - they are quite stodgy but lovely toasted with cream cheese and smoked salmon. I've had about four now since buying them

tfitw - hello you - now I'm not a charcuterie fan but it is lovely to suddenly see things one has missed

Steve - we've talked about getting a chest freezer (I've got the tall half and half of my dad's in the basement and a small fridge in the kitchen). I could have a chest freezer full of bagels and sorbet lollies

Dumdad - oh look, you like the same fillings as me. So far since buying them I've had ones with: melty cheese, spready cheese, jam, veggie burger and banana

Ayak - I just love bread of all types if I'm honest and a bagel seems so much more filling than an ordinary sarnie.

ASD - I love knowing you are still posting because I understand how busy you are - but you do need distractions and this is a good way to take your mind off things

Piglet - umm, I'm actually in France so yes, it's American Day at Lidls in France. Trust me on this :)

Fi - I love Swedish bread which we can now buy in our local carrefour - the sandwich sort with the puckery bits.

Jen - My best ones are from the Jewish delis on a Sunday morning in North London. We could start a thread - the best bagels I have eaten

W - how nice to see you here albeit with a new id. I've never been to Seattle but will try and hopefully remedy that one day - no, not just for the bagels at a ridiculously low price.

CT - oh, that's very interesting actually. Maybe I shouldn't have bought about 15 packs, but Mr FF seems to be enjoying them too and they will replace burger buns for Sunday's barbie

Selina - I bought poppy ones, sesame ones, oaty ones and plain ones - so I am not jealous but I will be when they have all gone

Ed - oh the bread selection in the States is just fantastic. The most choices I have ever seen was a deli opposite the Flatiron Building in NY. I was literally dazzled by a floor to ceiling bread selection - and then as for the fillings...

Nora - I think they would throw me out of there but I do actually have a very nice recipe to do them myself. It would be too tempting though and when I think how little I am indulging to only lose a few hundred grams each week - my regime would be doomed if I baked.

French Fancy said...

Lane - I wonder if it's the same one I went to in Brick Lane. Always a queue - usually taxi drivers in the early hours or clubbers on their way to a rave.

Vera - Intermarche don't have them here - in fact there might be the odd shop in Paris that sells them or down on the Southern bit with all the rich people. If you google Nigella's recipe for bagels it should come up with one. They are simply delicious

willow - yes, after one delicious one the temptation to have a second is enormous. I had to make myself stop yesterday after the first one - filled with melty cheese with little mandarin oranges on top, all hot from the grill.

Carrie - these Lidl ones are an American make that I have never seen before. They are lovely though especially toasted. Glad to see you back again in the blogosphere

e- How are you? That's a very kind thought but please don't. It would be awful for you to go to all that trouble and then they might get eaten en route or squished.

Hello Clarity - oh you are kind but I think once we have worked our way through these we might be bagelled-out, by which time there might even be a shopping trip to the UK booked. (I love wraps too and we can get these here very easily)

Delana - I've never had veggie cream cheese but I reckon our local bio shop would sell it. I might have a rummage in there to see what alternative toppings I can find for our bagel-fests

Carol - oh yes, nothing like salt beef on those traditionally made bagels from those east end shops. I want some now with lovely English mustard (I do actually prefer French mustard but with salt beef only bright yellow strong mustard will do)

Scarlet - hahahaha - only you (exclamation mark frenzy). You are so cute

Laura - well, on the new WW programme they work out at 6 points each. I'm having doubts now though - especially after CT upthread telling me they are more carby than most other breads.

Oh dear - no weight loss next week perhaps (I won't even type the worst option)

Rob - two days in and I am not sick of them yet. I do keep thinking about them though - they are spread out along a shelf in our basement and I see them every time I go down to peg the laundry out - they call to me, Rob - they call to me.

PigletinFrance said...

Hi French Fancy! Thanks for confirming that. I was wondering if it was a regional thing or if all the Lidl's were participating. I've missed it now as I didn't get chance to go yesterday but maybe they'll have some stock left tomorrow...

Enjoy your bagels!

French Fancy said...

It could be they will restock Piglet - I don't think it was meant to last for just one day but until all the stocks went. When the French family in front and behind me saw my vast stock on the conveyer belt they each asked what they were like. It could be that the French will just ignore them.

Lulu LaBonne said...

I love a bagel me - smoked salmon, cream cheese ... and macaroni ;)

French Fancy said...

Hey Lu - I should have said that yes, we did enjoy it and could barely remember the whole plot - just certain scenes. We gave it 9/10. The feel of it reminded me of 'Garden State' (which I also loved).

And do you know what greedy old me went and did - just three hours after having turkey escalope in honey and mustard with some mixed veg - I found myself toasting a sesame bagel and cramming it full of ham, salad and mustard. Oh it was so delicious - I have to be stronger.

Dash said...

I love bagels but MG hates them, there used to be a fabulous Kosher deli in Leeds that opened about 3 in the morning, we used to stop off on the way home after clubbing to get our bagel fix. I will have mine with smoked salmon, cream cheese and sweet pickled cucumbers, thanks FF.
XX

French Fancy said...

Dash - So many of us seem to love the cream cheese and smoked salmon fillings. It is lovely though. The bit of Leeds I know is Alwoodley because I was once engaged to someone from there - we broke it off eight days before the wedding and my next conquest was our caterer.

Angie Muresan said...

Oh, FF you are naughty! I just read your reply to Dash, by the way, even though it was very rude on my part.

I love bagels. I have them only once in a while though, just because they are so full of carbs.

French Fancy said...

Hiya Angie - it's not naughty reading my replies to others - I do it all the time on most of the threads I visit. The caterer told me he knew that it wouldn't work out because at the first meeting re the wedding planning the ex-fiance was not bothered about any of the details

I think I'd better cut down on the bagels - I thought it was just the same as two slices of bread

Mark said...

Bagels - I love them too, and making my own, but lets's be honest it is all a bit of a faff. Worth it, but not every day - so I'm with you on buying the shop ones. Must look in our local Lidl.

Reasons said...

You do make me smile :-)

mrwriteon said...

So, if you can't get a good bagel, you can get those heavenly croissants. They beat bagels, even the best deli ones, any time.

DJ Kirkby said...

I love bagels too and had no idea that they were so low in points. we buy that brand too and I've found that they keep very well in the fridge. x

Dedene said...

Phooey! I'm jealous. I haven't had a bagel for years!
Enjoy.

French Fancy said...

Mark - I'm impressed you make your own. I bet they are so delicious I'd probably get three down me quite easily.

Reasons - good to see you back in the blogosphere

Ian - croissants are 5 weight watcher points for something -however lovely - that takes no time at all to eat. Us greedy people like a bit of a chew.

Den - welcome back from lala land. According to bloggers in this column - the American ones - bagels have a lot of carbs, more so than normal bread.

Dedene - I have had so many this week and going to WW today will be interested to see if its affected my loss. Mind you last week was bagel-free and it was a very poor loss.

Suburbia said...

Mmmmmmmm! Cream cheese and smoked salmon on mine please :)

Phil Lowe said...

I love hot buttery bagels. First discovered them in a deli called Atlas based in the centre of Nottingham.