February 9, 2012

National Bagels and Lox Day

“The bagel is a lonely roll to eat all by yourself because in order for the true taste to come out you need your family. One to cut the bagels, one to toast them, one to put on the cream cheese and the lox, one to put them on the table and one to supervise.” - Gertrude Berg

It's National Bagels and Lox Day!

Sponsored by: Alvarado Street Bakery

Though it may not always seem like it, I actually have excellent manners. I've always said "please" and "thank you," when I was younger I would call my friend's parents by "Mr." and "Mrs." until told otherwise, and when I was invited over for dinner - no matter how awful it may have been - I was always very gracious to my host.

This has led me to some seriously unfortunate meals . . .

Like "American Chop Suey" when I was a kid.

Or tuna casserole when I was a teen.

Or bagels and lox when I was in my early twenties.

I had been dating this sexy hippie with gorgeous curly locks. I met his family and they made us bagels and lox one morning for breakfast (which was amusing to me given that her son was a raging vegan). When she asked me if I wanted some, I tried my best to be as polite as possible in my refusal. "No, thank you." Irritated, she asked me again raising her voice a little. "I'm all set, thank you though," I repeated, smiling warmly. She looked from her son to me in utter disgust, sneering as she stated, "You will have the bagels and lox. I got them just for you!" I cleared my throat, smiled again, and said, "Thank you, but . . . but, I don't eat lox."

The following few hours were incredibly tense.

Needless to say, the boy and I didn't work out. But I escaped having to eat bagels and lox.

Until tonight.

I've actually been looking forward to today, because I got to try an entirely new product: Sprouted Wheat Bagels from Alvarado Street Bakery. Ask my family and friends, and they'll tell you: I LOVE bagels. Whenever I go on road trips, I HAVE to get a bagel from the local store of whatever town I end up in. As a matter of fact the last road trip I went on I got two bagels - a pumpernickel bagel with olive cream cheese on the way to our destination, and an asiago cheese with jalapeno cream cheese on the way home from our journey.

I had been eyeing Alvarado Street Bakery for some time now. Their packaging is pretty mellow, but I was drawn to them because of the "sprouted wheat" bit. It intrigued me, although I couldn't have told you what "sprouted wheat" meant precisely. Until now! According to their website, they take whole, organic wheat berries and soak them in filtered water until they 'sprout', or actually begin to grow. They grind these 'living sprouts' into a dough that becomes the basis for all of their recipes. The concept of baking bread with sprouted grains is not a new idea. In fact, it dates back to biblical times when sprouted spelt (what we now know as wheat) was combined with both sprouted lentil beans and sprouted soybeans. The sprouting process naturally converts starchy grains into easily digested maltose and other complex sugars. There is enzyme activity created during germination that begins to 'pre-digest' the grains, thereby making the grains and their nutrients and vitamins more readily assimilated by the body. The addition of the sprouted legumes (soybeans/lentil beans) provided the essential amino acids necessary for a complete protein. This mixture was then crushed, formed into ovals and slow-baked. Centuries later and Alvarado Street Bakery's recipe is basically the same!

After finding out that information I was a thousand times more attracted to their company and was thoroughly pleased when they wanted to send along some product.

And the bagels themselves?

Absolutely impressive! They have such a nice, rich texture to them. I didn't feel like I was eating an empty, stiff "carb bomb," but something with far more depth to it. While eating it I just kept repeating, "This is a really good bagel. THIS is a REALLY good bagel!"

Because it was.

And now I want another one.

(Also, in case you were wondering: my faux lox were just thinly sliced tomatoes with seasonings topped with rings of raw onion. So... who wants a kiss?)

Happy National Bagels and Lox Day!

Disclaimer: The product(s) featured in this review were provided free of cost to me by the manufacturer. Opinions expressed are totally my own and are NOT in anyway influenced by monetary compensation. Logo used with permission of company.