So a few days ago there was a rumor going around that a certain Unimarc up in Las Condes had bagels. Why so special? My lovely readers from the US may ask. Well, with all the advances Chile has made over the last years in regards to consumer goods (hello, tampons), the bagel trend just hasn’t quite hit yet. A few years ago there was a bagel shop in Las Condes called New York Bagels, but when I came back in 2009 it had closed.
I think that if properly introduced, Chileans would love bagels and here’s why:
1. Chileans looooooooove bread. I’ve heard different statistics, but all of them put them within the top countries world wide for bread consumption per capita. Bread here is purchased in individual servings (like bagels) and you then have to weigh it at the bread counter. Note the hallulla:
…looks kind of like a bagel without a hole, right? Well, maybe that’s a stretch but it’s still round.
So anyway, Chileans like bread and what is a bagel? Well, lots of bread. One may argue that the average Chilean isn’t into stuff in their bread, per se. So maybe they wouldn’t be fond of an Everything bagel or cinnamon raisin or even onion. But I don’t think they would be opposed to sesame, poppy seed or plain.
2. Chilean’s love cream cheese, known here as “Queso Filadélfia” after, you guessed it, Philadelphia Cream Cheese, which I assume was the first brand to be imported to Chile. See, there’s already something called queso crema (the literal translation) which comes in a plastic tube and well, is not the same as the cream cheese I know. But I digress. It’s popular here to eat cream cheese with soy sauce and sesame seeds (strange, but actually good) on crackers and also, to spread it on warm bread. See where I’m going here? Not such a stretch to put cream cheese on a warm bagel!
3. Sandwiches are quite popular here, and Subway has caught on as well (despite not serving traditionally Chilean sandwiches). So the jump to a bagel-sandwich shop shouldn’t be hard to make. If you can make a sandwich with bread, it’s even more delicious on a bagel!
So here’s my plea to someone smart and who knows about business: start another bagel shop! I would suggest putting it in Providencia, somewhere where you’ll get lots of gringo clients to start, and then I’ll help you win over the Chileans. I promise, I’ll be you’re #1 customer!
Or, at the very least, Dunkin’ Donuts should start serving bagels. Just saying.