We tried bagels from Bagel of the Month Club just in time for the High Holidays
But, of course, you can’t have bagels without some schmear. So I also swung by Market Maven to pick up their lox salad, whitefish salad and Market Maven’s homemade mushroom dip.
So, how did the bagels stack up?
Our editor tried this one with lox salad. “The most exciting aesthetically,” said Selah Maya Zighelboim, editor at the JT. “The salmon salad is very nice for all lox fans, it’s got a good saltiness.” As for the bagel itself, she said, “The rainbow bagel tastes like a normal plain bagel, despite its psychedelic appearance.”
I agree with her that’s it’s a perhaps more LGBTQ+ proud version of a plain bagel. I, too, tried it with the salmon dip, which was a tad too salty for me. But I do love salmon in general, so I didn’t hate the experience.
Our writer Jesse Berman joked that the colorful bagel’s complex banal taste made him contemplate life’s ennui.
Zighelboim decided to keep this one colorless and used whitefish as her chosen spread. “A true classic,” she said. “I love whitefish salad, but I have had my share of disappointing whitefish salads that have left me hesitant to eat them sometimes. This whitefish salad certainly satisfied, with the whitefish taste shining through. There was nothing too special about the bagel itself,” she said.
Berman agreed, “The plain bagel is a bagel. Not really much else that can be said than that.”
He tried this bagel with both the lox salad and the whitefish salad.
“The lox spread came surprisingly close to the real thing,” he said.
“As for the whitefish spread, well, what can I say about whitefish that hasn’t already been said by better men than me?” Berman said. “One of the few fish in the sea that I have a genuine hunger for, the only reason it’s not a staple of my diet is that a single small container can cost up to $7, and my name isn’t Rockefeller.”
This is my absolute favorite bagel in any universe, any time, any dimension. But I would say this one was one teaspoon drier than my cake-batter-is-better-than-cake type of undercooked preferences. It has an exquisite raisin taste, though not enough actual raisins. I also absolutely loved that it was super thick and soft.
Our editor wrongly stated that she is not a fan of raisin bagels. “Interestingly enough, the raisin flavor was not too overpowering in this bagel, so it wasn’t too bad. But it’s certainly not what I would go for at a Yom Kippur break-fast,” she said.
Berman had more appreciation for the truth. “The fruity taste of the raisin bagel is to be expected, yet still appreciated,” he said.
I really liked this bagel. If a taste can be warm, it tasted warm. I wish I had toasted it, now that I’m thinking of it…
Some were less impressed. It “is what you’d expect from anything made of a substance that conjures the image of an elderly gentleman passed out in a rocking chair after exhausting himself from playing too much canasta,” Berman said.
Zighelboim chose Market Maven’s mushroom dip for the pumpernickel bagel.
“The mushroom dip came highly recommended from Market Maven,” she said. “Based on first appearances, it looks very much like gravy, something that you would top your mashed potatoes with at Thanksgiving, rather than top your bagels at Yom Kippur. I gave this combination a go and found it was not for me. The flavor of the mushroom dip greatly overpowered the bagel, and I did not end up taking more than a bite.”
The mushroom dip was sweet, with a tang of onion, garlic and chunks of mushrooms. I’m not a fan of everything bagels nor mushrooms, so I can’t say this was my favorite mix. But the dip was much better than it looked! Very homey.
Berman stated, “As for the everything bagel, well, is there a type of bagel that better typifies American culture’s predilection for overindulgence? Why confine oneself to a single topping, when you can have everything? Still, perhaps my favorite type of bagel.”
Zighelboim was also ecstatic about this bagel. “My favorite bagel, topped with my favorite schmear [whitefish]. Again, I can’t say there was anything too great about the bagel itself, but it definitely did the trick and paired well with the whitefish. My favorite combination on this list,” she said.
“Something that very much excited me about this package from the Bagel of the Month Club was that it came with a container of rainbow cookies. Coconuty and chocolaty in flavor, with a soft texture, these would make a great finish to any break-the-fast (if you don’t fill up too much on bagels, first),” Zighelboim said. To me, the cookies were very moist and sweet in a good way. They were almost too sweet, but it stopped me from binging on them.