New Yorks multi-coloured snack has landed on Londons Brick Lane. But should you eat it with Nutella or salt beef?

The rainbow bagel has come to London. New Yorks Famous Rainbow beigel sold here, reads a sign in the window of the famous Beigel Shop on Brick Lane. Condensation has made the colours run, but thats OK. Blending colours is this baked goods raison detre.

Rainbow Bagels the name is trademarked became a massive hit in New York after Jonathan Cheban, a friend of Kim Kardashian, shared pictures of his purchase on Snapchat. They are credited to baker Scot Rossillo, the self-described Worlds premier bagel artist, whose CV also includes the invention of the cragel, a croissant-bagel hybrid.

At Rossillos Bagel Store in Williamsburg, Brooklyn, the colourful bagels are usually served with Nutella or cream cheese blended with hundreds and thousands. But not on Brick Lane. No, no, no, says head chef Jimmy Taffat. This is maybe in America. Not in London. Here, they put salt beef.

Salmon and cream cheese, adds Hayley White, whose family owns the shop.

Really? It is hard to imagine the orange of smoked salmon looking appetising within this psychedelic swirl, a bargain at 50p. A bagel is a bagel, explains Albert Dassa, a bagel maker of 45 years who helps in the shop. Otherwise it would be like a sweet. There is no sweetness whatsoever. Otherwise we would have to call it rainbow cake.

It was Dassa who had the brainwave of trying out the rainbow bagels in London, after reading about the New York ones. Meanwhile, Whites sister, who lives in Manhattan, had sent her a link to a video of Rossillos creations. Im always looking for the latest trends, she says. I saw the video and and Albert read about them, and I said: Ive already seen this. She went to Taffat in the kitchen, who said he could make them.

Into
Into the oven rainbow bagels at Brick Lane. Photograph: Sarah Lee for the Guardian
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The bagels are the result of seven coloured dough mixtures. Each is flattened into a square, and then layered, one on top of the other. When all seven are piled up, Taffat cuts the mixture and the slices are fed into the bagel-making machine (also from the US). Beigel Shop is now selling about 1,500 of them a day and Taffat has come in early, just to make more.

So what do they taste like? Despite Dassas insistence that a bagel is pure and unflavoured, Taffat says there is a hint of banana in the yellow colour, a hint of mango in the orange and a hint of strawberry in the red. They taste subtly sweeter than the shops standard bagels. Hannah, who has come in specially to buy one after seeing a post on Facebook, is having hers with cream cheese, which seems a better choice than salt beef. (Not everyone is a fan. The woman who answers the phone at Beigel Bake, two doors down, says the rainbow models are horrible.)

The other notable difference is that, compared with the shops plain bagel, the multicoloured version feels slightly stickier and displays a greater attachment to teeth. They look great, though.

Outside the shop, two construction workers walk by. The rainbow beigel, one says, looking at the window.

When you eat, you see the rainbow, his friend says. And you sort of do. Especially if someone else eats one and smiles at you.

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