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New York Bagels in Munich?

If you grew up in New York or New England, you know there is nothing like a good bagel – chewy, dense and even a little crunchy on the outside. Once you have had a great bagel, there is nothing really like it, especially those donut-shaped sponges that you can find dribbled all over the west coast at places like Noah’s Bagels. Nope, the only real bages are from the East Coast. The best, in my most humble of opinion, come from H and H in New York.

Unfortunately, if you are not near New York City, it means that either you’re stuck with inferior bagels or none at all, which is usually the better option if given the choice.

As expected, in Munich, the bagel situation is pretty bleak. Some of the bakeries have something that they call the bagel, but it isn’t – and sometimes you can find these partially-cooked bagels at the grocery stores, but they just aren’t the same.

So, 8 hours by plane away from New York, I was extraordinarily suprised to find out on Toytown Munich that there is a new place in Schwabing that has Ben and Jerry’s Ice Cream, muffins, and bagels.

And not just bagels, H and H bagels.

How does it work?

H and H is trying to rid the world of bagels, one store at a time. How can they do this? The secret has to do with how real bagels are made.

A real bagel is made from a yeast-leavened dough which is first boiled (not steamed) and then baked. If done properly, you can deep freeze a bagel once it has boiled but before it has been baked. The result is not as good as a freshly boiled and baked bagel as the insides get the slightest bit crumbly, but if defrosted properly, the result is still worlds better than most of the bagels out there.

H and H has been doing this now for years, supplying the bagel eating communities all the world with ready-to-bake pre-frozen bagels. I have seen them at grocery stores in Connecticut, delis in Florida and even once in the Sunshine State of California. But I never would have thought that I would see these in Munich.

Enough already… tell me about the place in Munich!

So, enter Fresh Bagels and Muffins – on Schellingstraße and Barerstraße. Owned by an expat American, Fresh Bagels seems to be bringing a little taste of the East Coast out to Germany – an admirable task since they couldn’t even bring a decent bagel or muffin to San Francisco.

Fresh Bagels is a small coffee shop with fresh bagels and muffins – but that isn’t all. Fresh Bagels also has Celestial Seasonings teas (not my favorite, but hard to find anyway), Ocean Spray Cranberry Juice, whipped cream cheeses (ok, not as good as normal cream cheese, but still great) and a selection of packaged cookies.

The muffins, probably the best so far in Munich: dense, moist, springy with a good flavor and texture. THe chocolate chip was good, the lemon poppyseed was great. And the bagels? As good as I remember – nice texture and great texture. Pass me a copy of the New York Times and a cup of Dunkin’ Donuts coffee and I could have been having brunch back in Connecticut.

But then again, why would I want to be back there?

Fresh Bagels and Muffins. HIghly recommended if you want to introduce a local Münchner to the pleasure of a true bagel or want to be transported back to the Manhattan for an hour.

Posted in Munich Life.

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