Welcome to the next installment of my Meet the Spice Blend series, where I'm sharing the inspiration for, back stories of, and uses for my ever-expanding collection of small batch, handcrafted spice blends. Next up, let's meet Ultimate Everything Bagel!!
The Inspiration - The World's Best Bagel Flavor
The Everything Bagel is a testament to culinary ingenuity and the spirit of multicultural fusion. Originating from the diverse bagel shops of New York City, the Everything Bagel emerged during the latter half of the 20th century. It was reportedly birthed when bakers, at the end of their shifts, combined a medley of leftover toppings—such as poppy seeds, sesame seeds, dried garlic, dried onion, and salt—resulting in a bagel that seemed to have "everything" on it. This happy accident evolved into a breakfast staple cherished not just for its burst of flavors but also for its embodiment of the melting pot culture of its place of origin. Over time, the "everything" blend transcended its bagel roots, inspiring a range of other products, from breads to seasonings. In the broader cultural landscape, the everything bagel stands as a symbol of America's mosaic of tastes and traditions, celebrating the idea that sometimes, bringing disparate elements together can create something unexpectedly harmonious and delightful.
Now, I used to just buy the everything bagel spice blends I'd see at certain grocery stores, but they always seemed kind of underwhelming to me. So, of course, I decided to make my own. As part of my R&D process I actually did a blind side-by-side of my blend against some of the biggest store-bought brands, and WOW! Without exception, the store-bought versions were SO SALTY!!! It was like they were salt shakers at whom someone had waived some poppy and sesame seeds. "Everything" they were decidedly not, and I was determined to make my version the "Ultimate."
Flavor Profile - Ultimate Everything Bagel
Ultimate Everything Bagel masterfully balances earthy, nutty, and aromatic flavors in a symphony of gustatory delight. At the forefront, the poppy seeds introduce a subtle, nut-like essence, which is soon complemented by the dual crunch and nuanced taste of both toasted white and black sesame seeds. The garlic, shallot, and onion trio weave an aromatic tapestry, providing layers of savory depth; each ingredient lends its own distinct note, with garlic's pungency, shallot's milder sweetness, and onion's classic sharpness. Kosher salt punctuates the blend with just the right touch of brininess, enhancing the natural flavors of the other ingredients. Finally, a gentle warmth and kick from the black pepper ties the ensemble together, rounding out this intricate seasoning. The result is a complex yet harmonious melange that encapsulates the true essence of the Everything Bagel in a sprinkle-ready form.
Versatility in the Kitchen - Ultimate Everything Bagel
Ultimate Everything Bagel is versatile and can be used to enhance a variety of dishes in your home cooking. Here are some creative suggestions:
1. Avocado Toast: Sprinkle the blend atop mashed avocado on toast for an upgraded, flavorful breakfast or snack.
2. Roasted Vegetables: Toss your favorite vegetables in olive oil and the spice blend before roasting for a savory twist.
3. Salad Topper: Enhance your salads by sprinkling some of this blend over the top, especially in salads that feature cheese or a creamy dressing.
4. Homemade Breads and Rolls: Before baking, brush the tops with egg wash and sprinkle generously with the spice blend.
5. Butters & Spreads: Mix into softened butter or cream cheese for a delicious spread on bagels, muffins, or toast.
6. Eggs: Whether it's scrambled eggs, omelets, or a sunny-side-up, a dash of this blend can elevate the flavor profile immensely.
7. Grilled Meats and Fish: Use the blend as a seasoning before grilling chicken, beef, or fish. It gives a delightful crust and aroma when grilled.
8. Pasta and Grain Bowls: Stir some into your pasta, rice, or quinoa dishes for added depth and texture.
9. Popcorn: Melt some butter and mix in the blend, then drizzle over freshly popped popcorn.
10. Soup Topper: Just before serving, sprinkle the blend atop soups or stews for a crunchy and flavorful finishing touch.
11. Homemade Chips: If making potato or vegetable chips at home, sprinkle the blend on them after frying or baking.
12. Dips: Stir into dips like hummus, tzatziki, or sour cream-based dips for an added layer of flavor.
13. Baked Potatoes: Sprinkle on top of baked or mashed potatoes, along with some butter or sour cream.
14. Pizza: Before baking a homemade pizza, sprinkle the blend around the crust for an everything bagel-inspired edge.
15. Stir-Fries: While stir-frying vegetables or proteins, add a dash for an unexpected yet delightful twist.
Ultimate Everything Bagel's appeal lies in its complexity and balance, making it suitable for a vast range of culinary applications. Experiment with it, and you might discover even more delightful ways to incorporate it into your dishes!
Ready to get your own Ultimate Everything Bagel? Get it here.