5 and Dime-Broadsheet, 21st February 2013

5Photography: Josie Withers

Decent Bagels in Melbourne? Fuggedaboutit!

5 and Dime is bringing a New York staple to Melbourne foodies.

When we think of the Big Apple, we conjure images of towering skylines, irate taxi drivers and everyone’s favourite brunch staple – the bagel.

Those who have feasted on a good, fresh bagel – the iconic snack adored by all New Yorkers – will know that good Melbourne iterations are few and far between. Until now.

Since New Jersey native and former Taxi chef Zev Forman moved here some four years ago, the perfect bagel continued to elude him, and so he set out to make it himself. Enter 5 and Dime Bagel, his new venture coming to a farmers’ market near you.

While Forman stresses his are not the “authentic, traditional” bagels one could only find in New York State, they are most certainly the real deal, and Forman has scoured the States to perfect his handmade recipe.

“A 5 and Dime was a variety store in rural America, like where I grew up,” Forman recalls. “Most have gone out of business, but to me they represent a time when things were made by people, not machines. Where quality and value were not mutually exclusive and where local was not just a buzzword, but was the way things were done. I wanted to reference a bygone era and an idea of doing things the way they are meant to be, even if it is harder.”

The bagel making process is a long one, but the end result is more than worth it. Firstly, a poolish (a sponge-like fermentation starter used in all good bagels) is created and left to ferment for 24 hours before being mixed into the dough, rolled into bagels and left to cold ferment for another 24 hours. The bagels are then boiled, baked on traditional bagel boards and flipped onto the stones.

The bagel types vary from ‘classic’ to ‘everything’ (garlic, onion, sesame, poppy and sea salt), are lathered in a variety of cream cheeses (including vegan and bacon flavoured) and topped with a host of goodies, from salads to salmon and capers (but of course). We can almost hear the taxis honking and sirens blaring in the background.

5 and Dime-Broadsheet, 21st February 2013

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