One of those items that I truly missed when I first received my celiac diagnosis was my old friend – the bagel. You have to realize that my diagnosis came at a time when there were really not that many gluten-free options out there and well, those that were out there were not always the best replacements for their gluten-filled counterparts. Growing up in New York, bagels were truly a staple and it seemed like I was always on the quest to find the “perfect bagel” – then my diagnosis threw a bit of a wrench into that research.
Fast-forward many years and I have had great and not-so-great gluten-free bagels over the years. It seems like every gluten-free company out there has tried their hand at making a bagel but now it just seems like the market is flooded with more of the same types of bagels. When Bagelinos reached out to me and asked if I wanted to sample their items I was both interested and hesitant – thinking I was about to try more of the same. This was however not the case as Bagelinos proved to be a very welcome surprise.
I received samples of Bagelinos original product and their buns (think large rolls). The thing that first grabbed me was the first ingredient is cheese – so far so good. I also really liked that they use cassava flour as the base which makes for a light and airy end result. As my other-half is Bermudian, I have long been a fan of cassava as we always indulge in cassava pie at Christmas lunch. I always wondered why more gluten-free companies did not use this naturally gluten-free root in their flour bases.
Bagelinos are free from any trans-fats, 100% natural, and, perhaps best of all have zero preservatives. They come individually wrapped and freeze like a dream. When you are ready to indulge you simply thaw them (they thaw very quickly), pre-heat the oven (or use your microwave, though I do not own one so went the oven route) and toss them in for a few minutes. Their specially-designed bags provide the perfect environment for re-heating (these are all pre-cooked) and come out perfectly refreshed and wonderfully soft. You can eat them as is or pop them in the toaster for a quick crisp. I also have to confess that I tossed them in the oven straight from frozen and they came out perfectly — you just have to adjust the heating time accordingly and give them a bit of a squeeze to see when they are done.
Their flavor is truly unique and is the perfect balance between sweet and savory. The savory goodness provided by the cheese is rounded out with a slight hint of sweetness that will send your taste buds into umami overload. The texture, taste, and consistency are very much akin to pão de queijo – which is truly one of my favorite gluten-free breads. The buns are quite large and while good on their own I preferred to used them as the delivery vessel for the bun-less hamburger creations I have delivered from my favorite diner. Most gluten-free “hamburger” buns become so tiny after refreshing or toasting that the Bagelino buns are now my go-to when it comes to burger buns. Not to mention that there flavor only helps to take your meat creations to the next-level.
Before I knew it, I had eaten my way through all of the samples and it is now time for me to place an order. That’s the other great thing about Bagelinos – they are baked fresh and shipped right to your front door. After you unpack them just toss them into the freezer and you are good to go – of course I defy you to not try one right out the package before storing them.