newest addition to the South
Pasadena Farmers’ Market is a stand that sells bagels boiled in malt
water—“the only way to make bagels,” according to the vendor’s Facebook page.
Called Uncle Irving’s Bagels, the stand has been doing brisk business, not least because the bagels are yummy but also because they can be had only every other week, right next to the humus stand by the Farmers’ Market entrance on El Centro and Diamond.
According to Joe Kaplan, who runs Uncle Irving’s Bagels, there’s only so much room at the South Pas Farmers’ Market. “Every other week, the ‘knife man’ comes,” he says, referring to the knife-sharpening stand that can be seen by the El Centro entrance.
Kaplan began selling bagels in select farmers’ markets such as the one in Brentwood about four months ago. And it wasn’t easy to get a foothold in South Pas. “After 3 months of persistent asking/bugging/begging, Uncle Irving's Bagels will be in the South Pasadena Farmers Market!” Kaplan declared in August on Uncle Irving’s Bagels Facebook page.
"South Pasadena has been waiting for a good bagel," Kaplan says, adding that he's been filling the void.
Kaplan gets his bagels from the well-known Continental Kosher Bakery in Burbank. He sells nine types of bagels (priced at half-a-dozen for $5 and a dozen for $9), cream cheese, cookies, alligator coffee cakes and a delectable, rich and super-sweet coffee cake called Babka, which costs $15 and means “grandmother” in Russian and Ukranian.
He also sells what he calls a “black and white”—a treat that, he promises, has the potential to solve "all the world’s problems.” Watch the attached video for details.