I’ve already talked about how excited I am about the fact that this holiday season is looking like it will feature a favorite flavor of mine – gingerbread – from manufacturers. Ever since I saw Thomas’ Gingerbread Bagels on the Junk Food Guy’s facebook stream (seriously, like his facebook page) I’ve been on the lookout for them. After a decided run of no luck, they did have them at the new Niskayuna Walmart Neighborhood Market. On sale even! $2.98. And here they are:Love that gingerbread guy. The packaging is overall excellent. The gingerbread house framing the front graphic is a win. Even on the bottom you get a similar look with the gingerbread man in case they’re stacked on a shelf with the bottom facing out. Let’s take a look at the nutrition and ingredients.
Not terrible. I mean, it’s a bagel. Thanks for the fiber. It’s only 3 grams, but I’ll take ’em.
Look at that ingredient list! Ginger, molasses, cinnamon, wheat flour…and a bunch of stuff we’ll just ignore. Do they really need to put in sugar, molasses, AND sucralose to get America to eat these?
Opening the bag these smelled so good. If I’m rating the smell based on a fresh loaf of gingerbread these are probably an 8 or 9 out of 10, they’re that spot on. Pulling one apart (I still hate the almost-split, but still stuck together in the middle so they tear a bit-ness of Thomas’ bagels) and taking a big whiff, wow. It’s gingerbread. Just a touch of yeasty breadness. Yeah, let’s say a 9/10. All those ingredients I just cited? You smell them.
Being new, these are super squishy soft (plus, um, all those unmentioned ingredients). Into the toaster oven with you! I shouldn’t even have to say it, but as this toasted the whole kitchen took on the heavenly aroma of fresh gingerbread. You probably know where this is going, right?
Since it would be wrong to frost these with cream cheese frosting (at least for breakfast), I had to settle for cream cheese. No, I don’t know what those little dark pockets are. One of the ingredients seems to have clumped up a bit or something. I’m not ashamed (much) to say I licked at one, trying to figure it out, but they’re just a sort of dark pocket, not an accumulation of anything as far as I can tell. (Ok, looked at them again before toasting #2, and those pockets are little spice or molasses or something pockets, which dissolve upon toasting, which is why they don’t have much of a stand out flavor after toasting.)
Yeah, so these are OK. Flavor-wise I’m in the 4/10 range. They sort of taste like a plain bagel eaten in a kitchen full of fresh-baked gingerbread loaves. Cinnamon? Not much. Molasses? Maybe a little. Ginger? *sigh* Not so much. A little. Twenty minutes later there is a touch of a lingering bite of ginger that I am enjoying, but…c’mon. What a let down. Thomas’ seriously went for inoffensive here. They made them smell great so people would be all ‘hey, cool, gingerbread!’, but then they could eat them without that delicious spicy sweet kick of gingerbread actually interrupting their bland breakfast. Trying it without cream cheese didn’t evoke any stronger flavor.
Finally, like every other mass produced bagel, by the time you get to the second half and it’s starting to cool, it gets VERY chewy and tough. I guess if you try them, eat them fast. Or toast them more. I didn’t want to go too crazy, but will likely crank up the toastiness on the other 5.
Hopes sort of dashed. Will there be more gingerbread products this year? Will they get better than the m&m’s, Twix, and bagels? I sure hope so. And I hope I find gingerbread Oreos soon.