Is the New York bagel in trouble? Uppity bread products keep springing up everywhere you look. In 2013, it was the Cronut. The croissant got in the game, and tried to improve on one of the most popular round breads ever. In 2014, the croissant takes on the bagel, but can flaky and sweet really beat solid, and traditional?
What Exactly is a Cragel?
A Cragel was created at The Bagel Store in Williamsburg, Brooklyn. It’s a half croissant, half bagel, and the store says it is “100 percent happiness.”
It’s not really a bagel – it’s a croissant with the ends smooshed together to make a perfect circle instead of the traditional crescent shape, the flaky texture and layered appearance don’t lend themselves to slicing and spreading lox or cream cheese. In fact, we can’t really see that much of a resemblance at all!
Are Cragels Really Catching On?
Brooklynites have mixed reactions. The Cragel debuted last September, but took some time to catch on. Gothamist writer Jen Carlson claimed they were “a little sweet and sticky on the outside.”
Another Gothamist says they are still better than the Cronut, however, stating: “In a Cronut v. Cragel smackdown these should hands-down win.” We know it’s the half bagel side that helps in that battle!
Another downside to the Cragel is that there is only one flavor – which we guess is regular? Bagel store owner Rossillo say the Cragels are best “with a sweet spread such as blueberry cream cheese, Nutella or limited-edition pink champagne cream cheese,” while his assistant, Ross Helrich, likes to use them for breakfast sandwiches, saying “These are not your father’s bagels!”
Certainly not! New York bagels are far more versatile, spreading easily with a variety of toppings and serving as a platform for the savory and salty as well as for the sweet and sugary. There’s just no comparison.
Will Cragels somehow carry the day? Fuggedaboudit. We’ll reserve judgment on the ultimate fate of the Cragel for now, but we feel pretty confident that the New Yorker bagel will outlast this upstart and remain America’s favorite roll with a hole!