Since publication of this piece, more details of the origins of this recipe have come to light. Please read our follow-up piece to learn more.
In my universe, Sunday mornings are not complete without a piping-hot, crusty-on-the-outside, fluffy-on-the-inside carb explosion, courtesy of the nearest bagel shop. I like mine sliced down the middle and slathered with way too much cream cheese. This has never and probably will never change.
But lately, my Instagram feed has been littered with photos of a tiny, dare I say delicious-looking, bagel impersonator called the Pagel, topped with delectable combinations like nut butter and jam; pepitas and bananas; avocado, runny eggs, and watermelon radishes; spinach and tuna salad; and even a hamburger with pickles.
The Pagel now has nearly 17,000 followers. Considering the fact that the last "bagel" with that many followers was probably the viral rainbow bagel, this called for an investigation.
The Pagel is made with cassava flour, potato starch, almond flour, honey, apple cider vinegar, yeast, and salt and is the brainchild of Steven Friedman, a CrossFit enthusiast, who came up with the idea after learning about cassava flour at a wellness retreat in St. Lucia. If this is starting to sound full on Goop to you, don't count the Pagel out just yet. Here are a few things you need to know about the Pagel.
- Pagels' parent company is named Bedrock Bagels, a nod to the Flintstones. (Paleo, get it?)
- Pagels come in four different flavors: everything, cinnamon raisin, plain, and sesame.
- Pagels are made with cassava flour, a grain-free, nut-free replacement for wheat flour, which comes from the root vegetable also known as yuca.
- Pagels are shipped nationwide and should be frozen upon arrival.
- Pagels should be toasted for eight minutes before consumption.
- Pagels are tiny. (Even tinier than Thomas' "New York Style" bagged bagels.)
Having lived my entire life in both New Jersey and New York, eating a certified Paleo, grain-free, gluten-free bagel could be considered downright sacrilegious — but I agreed to give it a try and kept a very open mind.
What I Thought About the Pagel
If faced with the choice between a bonafide bagel and a Pagel, I would choose the former almost every time — but that's not to say I would never eat one again or recommend these to my gluten-free/Paleo friends. The Pagel kind of tastes like potatoes (in a good way), and is just the right size to sandwich a ton of fillings between. Pro tip: Try your first toasted Pagel with mashed avocado and flaky sea salt and you'll definitely come back for more.
Buy now: Pagels, $10 for 4
Have you ever tried a Pagel?