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This spice blend is everything. And it's leaving its bagel origins behind.


Everything spice: It goes with ... everything.

At least that's what it feels like these days, with the kitchen-sink bagel topping forging its own identity and showing up in other savory and, yes, sweet applications.

"It's funny to see it on so many things now," said Gina Chersevani, the District of Columbia mixologist who owns soda shop and bar Buffalo & Bergen.

Chersevani, who worked at a bagel shop when she was a teenager in Elmont, New York, in the '90s, serves four types of everything bagels at Buffalo & Bergen (regular, wheat, pumpernickel and egg) but has taken to using her mixture of sesame seeds, poppy seeds, onion, garlic and salt elsewhere.

She pulverizes the topping into a powder and combines it with a tomato base for a bloody mary riff called the Lox'd & Loaded - which also happens to be crowned with an over-the-top (literally) garnish of an entire everything-bagel sandwich, complete with lox and cream cheese.

Chersevani sells about 300 or 400 of the drinks on any given Saturday. She also makes her own gravlax and sometimes coats that with everything spice.

Several people - including restaurateur and Mario Batali business partner Joe Bastianich - have laid claim to the creation of the everything bagel in the 1970s or '80s. Regardless of the originator's identity, chef Nathan Hatfield of Alexandria, Virginia's Junction Bakery & Bistro is a fan of the trademark mix of seasonings, which also can include the more contentious caraway seed.

Hatfield decided to combine his love of everything bagels and croissants. "It came out the way I wanted it to," he said of his everything croissant. He creates the flaky pastry by sprinkling sheets of puff pastry with garlic, onion, poppy, sesame and salt and then cutting strips that are rolled into a spiral. The assertive spices, Hatfield says, go particularly well with the buttery richness of the croissant.

New York's Doughnut Project was similarly inspired. Co-owner Leslie Polizzotto said her partner, Troy Neal, was always eating everything bagels for breakfast. "He had on his list an everything doughnut," she said. "It kind of all clicked."

That's something of an understatement. Last year, after Gothamist wrote about the treat, which has sesame, poppy, pumpkin seeds, garlic and sea salt atop a sweet cream cheese glaze, the phone at the fledgling shop was ringing off the hook. "It was insane," Polizzotto said. "We had no idea." The flavor always sells out.

Around Washington, everything spice can also be found in the mashed potatoes at Bryan Voltaggio's Range, a brunch smoked salmon pizza at Michael Schlow's Alta Strada and grilled tuna at Legal Sea Foods.

As Chersevani put it, "Everybody loves everything 'everything.' "


Reader Comments ...


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