Star-Bulletin Features

It's Blooming Bagels

By Craig T. Kojima, Star-Bulletin
Our bagel bloom is made up of a selection
of varieties from Maui Bagel.

Forget doughnuts, bagel shops
are moving in on the local bakery scene

By Catherine Kekoa Enomoto

Bagels, big time, are in Hawaii's future and, if bagel barons have their way, there's a surge of 50 bagelries on the horizon.

Bagelman's opens Monday adjacent to Tamarind Park downtown with a dozen steam-baked varieties, including poi.

The downtown site is the first of 18 bagelries planned on the major islands, said Marlene Among, part-owner of Bagelman's.

"They're the best," she said. "They're what bagels are supposed to be like -- chewy on the inside, with a nice golden color on the outside."

Local-style cream cheeses may feature Hawaiian chile pepper, kim chee, lomilomi salmon, Maui onion, Kona cappuccino, mochi crunch and strawberry guava flavors, she added.

Among and husband Richard Swartz are proprietors of the 4-year-old ScooZee's restaurant and they want to parlay their success with Italian fare into a coup with the Jewish bagel of Central Europe.

"We're putting a very Hawaii bent on what they're doing on the mainland" in a bagelry, Swartz said. "It's upscale by 20 percent -- a little more expensive, plusher and themed around a turn-of-the-century Honolulu look."

Elsewhere -- besides Oahu veterans Hawaiian Bagel Co. and Bernard's New York Deli -- current purveyors in the bagel boom include:

Pacific Bagels -- Formerly known as Island Bagels, this 15-month-old company opened a Koko Marina retail store in June. It offers 14 varieties of old-fashioned, hand-rolled, water-boiled bagels.

Pacific Bagels is set to open three more sites, and plans to have a dozen in the next couple years. Its wholesale accounts include Starbucks, Liberty House and, since Monday, Host Marriott at the airport.

Spike's New York Style Bagels of Kailua -- The 1-1/2-year-old shop offers extended hours and Oahu's biggest bagel array -- 22 steam-baked varieties, including its signature chocolate chip, Hawaiian (pineapple/coconut), "Amigo" (jalapeno/salsa) and spinach bagels, plus eight sweet and savory cream cheese flavors. Commuter-friendly hours are 5 a.m. to 8 p.m. Monday to Thursday; 5 a.m. to 10 p.m. Friday; and 6:30 a.m. to 10 p.m. Saturday.

By Craig T. Kojima, Star-Bulletin
Mike Keys of Bagelman's removes the first bagels
from a high-tech oven yesterday at the new
shop's 711 Queen St. "commissary."

Jack's Famous Bagel of Maui -- The six-month-old Kahului shop is sprouting like the proverbial beanstalk; a second site opened last week in Kihei. Plans are for five on the Valley Isle and possibly 10 to 15 on Oahu, according to operating partner Barry van Asten. Celebrity investors are L.A. deejay Rick Dees of the Top 40, TV producer Bob Stenner of Fox football, and actor B.B. Sweeney of the film "Spawn." Oh yes, Jack's offers 22 steam-baked bagel varieties, including a fresh-pineapple-topped favorite of tourists.

Maui Bagel -- Five-year proprietor Scott Klein is a second-generation bagel baker from St. Louis, Mo. He sells more than 100 dozen bagels weekly to Costco Maui. He offers 15 varieties of soft, steam-baked bagels for 50 cents each and, with any one of 10 toppings, it's $1.39.

The Bagel Lady -- Sallyann Kraensel of Haiku, Maui, sells a unique "manapua bagel" with dough like manapua, but steam-baked like a bagel. She says her product has the flavor and texture of manapua, but no fat, sugar or preservatives. She features strawberry bagels, all-in-one bagels, bagel dogs and homemade cream cheese. Her bagels freeze well and sell for $7 a dozen at Maui's Saturday swap meet. Or, she delivers Wednesdays and Saturdays. Call 573-1789 on Maui.

Thus, with 18 Bagelman's, a dozen Pacific Bagels and possibly 20 Jack's Famous Bagels on the way, Hawaii is going to the bagel -- lox, stock and barrel.

How to heat a bagel

Sprinkle with water and wrap in foil or put in a dampened paper bag, then bake at 350 degrees 10 to 15 minutes.
Dip in water, shake off, then bake at 350 degrees 10 to 15 minutes.
Microwave straight from refrigerator or freezer in plastic bag. Use medium setting; 30 seconds for refrigerated bagels, longer for frozen.
 Never put warm bagels in plastic bags; they'll get soggy.

How to top a bagel

Healthy start:Combine peanut butter with dark raisins and grated carrot.
Bagel pizzas: Spread with tomato sauce, top with shredded mozzarella and sliced vegetables or meat. Run under broiler.
Low-fat topper: Combine non-fat plain yogurt and light cream cheese. Garnish with cucumber slices.
Not low-fat:Combine equal parts cream cheese with blue cheese; top with toasted walnuts.
Seafood special:Mix crab or tuna with diced green peppers and cream cheese.

How to keep a bagel

Overnight: Leave in a plastic bag at room temperature.
Up to three days:Refrigerate in plastic bag or sealed container.
Longer than that: Freeze.

Cox News Service

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