Sunday mornings put me in the mood for a bagel loaded with “schmear” (a spread, typically cream cheese) and toppings… you could say it’s a primal, genetic thing. After Sunday morning religious school (aka Hebrew School), my mom usually had lox n’ bagel waiting when we came home. Pre-vegan days, that would be cream cheese, lox (smoked or cured salmon), tomato, red onion and capers.
For special occasions I have made vegan smoked salmon, out of thin carrot strips, cured overnight in a brine of seaweed and liquid smoke. The texture and flavor are quite reminiscent of lox, but the recipe is time-consuming, and has many steps, so I really only save it for special occasions. For the weekly bagel n’ schmear craving, I would much rather rely on fresh ingredients that can be procured at the local farmers markets.
I was thrilled to find out that I can buy fresh-baked bagels that give business to not one but two local farmers market vendors whose products I enjoy. Global Fusion, LLC, which sells baked goods, that include vegan and some gluten-free options, now carries freshly baked bagels in a few varieties. My favorite flavor is the salsa bagel that incorporates local Mouth of the Salsa. It was one of the hotter / spicier varieties, and I’m usually a wimp about spicy salsa, but it was not too spicy for me.
Shown in the photo, my toasted bagel is topped with Kite Hill Cream Cheese Spread. Kite Hill products are available at the Food Conspiracy Coop and Whole Foods. These are by far my favorite vegan cheese and dairy alternative products. I got hooked on Kite Hill yogurt, then discovered the cream cheese and ricotta cheese. I have also tried the ravioli and chive spread, and have not been disappointed. Kite Hill starts with cultured almond milk, and uses cheese-making principles based on culturing the milk, rather than pumping it full of oils and sugar. Quite simply, worth the price and the best quality I have found.
On top of the cream cheese layer is avocado from Cindy Gardens Farm Co-op, microgreens from Sunflower Sprouts and Microgreens and the most amazing little heirloom tomatoes from In the Beginning Farms. (Yes, that is 5 local vendors in one meal!) Bagels from Global Fusion are available on Sunday mornings at St. Philip’s Plaza. I highly recommend shopping early, or emailing ahead with your order, because they do sell out.