The Brooklyn Native You Can Thank For NYC's Iconic Rainbow Bagels

Close-up of rainbow bagels
Close-up of rainbow bagels - Khairil Azhar Junos/Shutterstock

Scot Rossillo didn't consider himself a mere baker. On his LinkedIn profile, he describes himself as the "World's Premier Bagel Artist." A native New Yorker, Rossillo was able to figure out how to make bagels that appeared to swirl with waves of bright colors. The taste was likened to Froot Loops cereal, and he would also stuff cream cheese made with Funfetti sprinkles into his creations.

For Rossillo, his creative process began with the visual component, not necessarily the taste. "It's always about the coloring and the artwork," he told Inked Magazine. To Celebrity Parents Magazine, Rossillo described these bagels as art. "It's art that you can eat. I take my experiences from life, my creativity, and that's what I make. That's what comes out." His business, The Bagel Store in Williamsburg, Brooklyn, was something like his art studio, a place where he would tinker with unique bagel flavors and designs.

His rainbow bagel took social media by storm in 2016, and his colorful creations were shipped across the United States. Rossillo's success might have been part of his downfall, however, as a history of tax evasion rose to the surface due in part to his newfound fame. His business was eventually seized in 2019, and though Rossillo opened shop in another Brooklyn location, he couldn't sustain business operations and eventually retired.

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Inspiration Fueled Invention

Hands unwrapping a rainbow bagel
Hands unwrapping a rainbow bagel - Patrick Hatt/Shutterstock

Before tax issues contributed to his business' closure, Scot Rossillo's ideas for colorful rainbow bagels was two decades in the making. "Twenty years of experiments, 20 years of failures — I wouldn't say failures, it brought me to here," Rossillo told NYU Local. He admitted that many people told him this concept wouldn't work or sell and attributed the success of the bagels not only to perseverance but to fortuitous timing -- specifically, the prominence of the gay rights movement and winning over one of Kim Kardashian's friends.

Rossillo also sent the bagels to several other celebrities to boost the status and reputation of the bright recipe. Though he remained secretive about the details of how he made his rainbow bagels (which he trademarked), he was quick to describe a complicated method. In the time required to make 5,000 plain bagels, Rossillo said he could hand roll only 100 of the rainbow variety. "Compared to normal bagels, the process is 10 times, 12 times longer," he lamented to NYU Local.

Rossillo also lays claim to many other unique bagel types, including the cragel, a bagel-meets-croissant recipe, and a French toast bagel. Some of his other more outlandish bagel flavor creations include mac and cheese, ramen, Philly cheesesteak, cotton candy, and a taco bagel. His bacon-egg-and-cheese bagel even offered bites of these ingredients tucked directly into the bagel itself. Though Rossillo's bagel stores may have closed in 2022, his lasting creation -- and plenty of photos -- of the rainbow bagel lives on.

Read the original article on Tasting Table.