Bagels vs. Donuts. Two round foods centered around a hole. New Yorker Bagels calls it “the never ending war” between the two and states that “while they may look similar, they are worlds apart.” They are merely cousins bound only by their similarities in shape. One is sweet, deep fried and doesn’t always play by the rules, at times omitting the hole. The other is chewy, boiled in water and covered with toppings or left to be the the ever popular plain. It seems that in recent years, the lines have become hazy. Each breakfast edible crossing between sweet and savory and pushing the boundaries as the American public’s tastes and preferences change. With the rise of social media, each hole-y food is looking to take out the other with things like the rainbow bagel and the “doughpod” filled with avocado or potato. Today, lines aren’t just blurry. You can find full blown bagel flavored donuts and some bagel places pushing for more donut-like products.

One West Village donut shop has created an Everything Doughnut, a take on one of New York’s already iconic foods. According to NY Daily News, this Doughnut Project treat “will make your tastebuds sing in perfect two-part harmony”. It’s apparently that good! At $3.75 a pop, it’s a light yeast donut with a sweet cream cheese glaze, sprinkled with black sesame seeds, poppy seeds, sea salt, pepitas and a hint of garlic. Yes, garlic…on a donut. It’s “the contrast of the textured toppings against the glossy glaze” that makes this delicacy so Instagram worthy.

Go a little further southeast to Sag Harbor, and you’ll find the newly opened Grindstone Coffee and Donuts offering a similar option. They are not trying to reinvent the wheel here, just offer an everything bagel flavored donut to it’s costumers. Owner Kyle Shannahan explains that there’s barely any sugar in the donut its self. The sugar comes only from the toppings, leaving it to taste more like a “super-light bagel” than a donut at all.

Don’t think that it’s only donut shops taking a plunge towards more bagel-like options. Bagel stores are pushing back with options to satisfy even your deepest of donut cravings . At Tompkins Square Bagels in the East Village you can try their birthday cake cream cheese, a rich cream with rainbow sprinkles mixed right in. And on a french toast bagel, it’s not only as sweet as a donut, it’s one of Gothamist’s 10 Best Bagel Sandwiches of NYC. At New Jersey’s Bagel Nook, you can pick up an Oreo bagel stuffed with Oreo or Nutella cream cheese, filled with extra Oreos in you desire. Now if that doesn’t sound like a donut flavor in the making, then I don’t know what does.

Bagel Nook Oreo

As the margin between sweet and savory becomes smaller and smaller, it’s clear that bagels and donuts are becoming more alike. Although according the Quora, the “consistency, texture and flavor of the dough is completely different … because of the unique ways they are cooked”, it’s at least true that the flavors and ingredients used in both are being swapped, traded and reinvented. Whether loyal to the donut, the bagel or both, it’s clear that there are a growing number of options that explore both the sweet and savory sides of these breakfast foods.

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