Bagel Market is committed to offering fresh food for all our customers regardless of their dietary needs. While our kitchen isn’t strictly gluten-free (GF), we take our commitment to GF very seriously. In fact, several members of our family are gluten intolerant. In addition to GF breads, we regularly feature specialty gluten-free, vegan and paleo goods such as muffins, macaroons, peanut butter cookies and frosted brownies.
Bagel Makers Learn to Live Gluten Free*
*Written by Alice Levitt, this article was published in Vermont’s Seven Days newspaper in January, 2014. To read the full article, click here.
…In short, this is a family that needs to steer clear of wheat. Too bad its members are part of northern Vermont’s oldest bagel dynasty and current owners of the Bagel Market in Essex Junction.
The cruel irony is not lost on the family. Ron Goldberg and his wife, Mary, had four children: Leah; Kyle; Sarah, who works in medicine; and eldest son Tad, who passed away in 2005. All of them grew up in the bagel business. Ron still eats a bagel a day, despite his doctor’s recommendations. Kyle has scaled back on his gluten intake considerably. But Leah, the youngest, must avoid contact with any of the allergens that may make her devastatingly ill.
Now the family is working together to prepare food that celiac sufferers like her can enjoy. That means embarking on the perhaps quixotic quest to create the perfect gluten-free bagel.
If anyone has it in their DNA to bring the ethnic specialty into the future, it is this family. Ron Goldberg’s great-grandfather owned the largest bakery in Leeds, England. After a time in Syracuse, N.Y., Goldberg’s grandfather, Ruben, opened his first Burlington bakery on Riverside Avenue in the 1940s. The stone oven turned out loaves of pumpernickel bread and braised briskets for families that dropped off pots to cook for the Sabbath. On Sunday mornings, much to the delight of Little Jerusalem locals, the Goldbergs baked bagels.
The better part of a century later, Leah Goldberg is learning to make products similar to those of her ancestors, only without conventional ingredients. Her coconut macaroons, sweetened with maple syrup and topped with chocolate and almonds, are a splendid vegan and gluten-free indulgence. Also great for paleo diet adherents, they’re one of several gluten-free treats available daily at the bakery.
Goldberg herself must shun far more than just gluten. After reeling off a list of allergens — dairy, rice, beef and sugar — she stops. “Let’s start with what I can eat,” she says with surprising good humor. It’s a short list of plants and protein.
Goldberg says she hasn’t been able to work with typical baked goods for four years now. Approaching a bowl of dough or muffin batter when her father or brother is baking is enough to make her break out in hives. Wearing gloves, she can put bagels in the oven, though even that leaves her skin inflamed. Any more contact could make Goldberg, who’s now an avid runner, seriously ill again. So she uses the skills she learned as the vegan baker for Dobrá Tea to cook for customers with allergies of their own… Read More