Saturday, November 20, 2010

Day Two Eighty Four - Cream Cheese & Vic's Bagel Bar

Do you associate cream cheese as being part of the cheese family? Like in the same sort of mental category as Brie, Gruyere, Gorgonzola, and other cheeses? Probably not...You, like me, probably think of it as a great topping for a toasted bagel consumed with a cup of coffee on a Saturday morning, right?

So what is cream cheese exactly? Well it is a sweet, smooth, fresh, white cheese that is required to be 33% milkfat and have a moisture content of under 55%, with a pH range of 4.4 to 4.9%. It does not naturally mature and therefore needs to be eaten when super young and fresh, like say a Mascarpone. Did you know cream cheese dates back to the 1650s in France? Here in America, the first development of cream cheese happened in 1872 and the name Philadelphia was adopted in 1880 because it was America's culinary mecca at the time...

Why this discussion of cream cheese? Well partially because I realized I had never addressed this popular and simple cheese product and partially because of the place I went for breakfast this morning -- Vic's Bagel Bar. Vic's is run by an alumni of my Alma mater, Dartmouth, and certainly takes a different approach to the bagel joint. Instead of having different flavored cream cheeses like vegetable, lox, scallion and the such, Vic's allows you to create your own flavored cream cheese, somewhat like the create your own salad bar concept.

Step one is to decide between the sixteen different types of bagels. Step two is to decide whether you want non-fat, lowfat or regular cream cheese. And from there your choices range from sprinkles to chocolate chips to edamame to goat cheese to capers to za'atar (a Middle Eastern spice mixture) to corn and peas and more. It makes your bagel experience all your own. It is the obvious next step in the evolution of bagel aces and caters to our contemporary society's desires for an endless assortment of options. Always crowded, this is a place that sure has found a niche in our city of endless choices.

Vic's Bagel Bar
544 3rd Avenue
NYC 10016

1 comment:

  1. Check out the People Eating Bagels at a Bagel Store art show displaying at Vic's Bagel Bar now!


Blog Archive